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Murder in the Belleville

Cara Black

1,903 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1569472114 / ISBN 13: 9781569472118
Published by Soho, New York, 2000
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Rascal Books (Kansas city, MO, U.S.A.)

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Mylar protected. A very nice copy of Black's second book. Bookseller Inventory # 000714

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Murder in the Belleville

Publisher: Soho, New York

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author on the Title

Edition: First Edition/First Printing

About this title


Tension runs high in this working-class neighborhood as a hunger strike to protest strict immigration laws escalates among the Algerian immigrants. Aimée barely escapes death in a car bombing in this tale of terrorism and greed in the shadows of Paris.


April in Paris, 1994, is hardly the stuff of song: forget lilacs and lights twinkling along the Seine and think riots and firebombings. Private investigator Aimée Leduc (Murder in the Marais) specializes in corporate security, but when Anaïs, an old friend and wife of an interior minister, sends her a terrified SOS from Belleville, an immigrants' quartier, the racial violence festering in the city explodes on a very personal level. Anaïs had intended to confront Sylvie, her husband's mistress, but when a car bomb fueled by Algerian plastique takes Sylvie's life, Anaïs begs Aimée to unravel the tangled threads that led to her death.

Aimée's investigations take her into the heart of the unrest surrounding the political status of illegal Algerian immigrants, or sans-papiers. What was the connection between Sylvie (also known as Eugénie, a pied-noir, or Algerian-born French citizen) and Mustafa Hamid, charismatic leader of the Alliance Fédération Libération, a humanitarian mission bent on stopping the forced repatriation of North African Magrébhins? Was Anaïs' husband being blackmailed by a radical faction of the AFL?

The jam-packed plot is occasionally hard to follow (and the intermittent presence of Yves, Aimée's fickle lover, is downright distracting), but Black's Paris, at times grimly threatening, is also wondrously vibrant:

She wondered how Sylvie/Eugénie fit into the melange that swelled the boulevard: the Tunisian Jewish bakery where a line formed while old women who ran the nearby hammam conversed with one and all from their curbside café tables, the occasional rollerblader weaving in and out of the crowd, the Asian men unloading garments from their sliding-door Renault vans, the Syrian butchers with their white coats stained bloody pink, the tall, ebony Senegalese man in a flowing white tunic, prayer shawl, and blue jogging shoes with a sport bag filled with date branches, a well-coiffed French matron tugging a wheeled shopping cart, a short, one-eyed Arabe man who hawked shopping bags hanging from his arms, and the watchful men in front of the Abou Bakr Mosque near the Métro.
Who needs lilacs when you have Paris in all of its confounding, confusing splendor? Francophiles and mystery fans alike will be waiting anxiously for Aimée's next outing. --Kelly Flynn

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