Utilising his own considerable experience as a war veteran and journalist, the award-winning Robert Olen Butler once again shows his mastery of the historical thriller with this striking novel, set during the First World War. As Parisiennes meet death by dynamite in a campaign of bombings, the German-speaking protagonist Kit seems to be the person to discover who is behind it. But things in a Butler novel are never straightforward. Those who have read earlier novels by the author will need little hesitation to pick this one up. Butler’s recent The Hot Country sported echoes of Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s colourful, kinetic fare; that book was the first of an ambitious three-part series featuring doughty American war correspondent Christopher ‘Kit’ Marlowe Cobb, of which Paris in the Dark is a further instalment. Once again, the new novel on the surface appears to be a cocktail of adventure, romance and espionage, but it’s soon apparent that Paris in the Dark is not only shot through with a keen intelligence rare in the genre, but it is also couched in elegant prose.
Paris in the Dark by Robert Olen Butler is published by No Exit Press