Ahhh to be in France, constantly sipping coffee at charming little cafes. Or whooshing through the French countryside in my 1940s equivalent of a convertible. Stopping every now and then in historic towns to savor the local cuisine and throw the murder chasing me off of my back.
A young widow name Charity heads off to the French countryside with her rich, lazy friend. While said friend relaxes, sipping cool drinks and painting, Charity drives her car at a breakneck pace through France trying to outdistance a possible murderer and madman. During a short coffee break, she realizes everything she knew about said mad men was wrong, and naturally falls in love with him. She then manages to fix all his problems through another high speed chase through the French countryside, but this time at night. Despite always being chased by a killer, she finds plenty of time to eat expensive dinners, stop at cafes for coffee, drink wine, and smoke (almost continuously).
The main charm of this book, is that it let me visit France and live vicariously through the main character for awhile. That said, I found the romance FAR FETCHED. Man it just hit me out of nowhere. The book was driving along, the descriptions were beautiful, the characters were realistic with depth and stories behind them. Then the romance hits, out. of. the. blue. Not that I didn’t see it coming, I just couldn’t imagine that the writer was really going in that direction. It was too cheesy, too abrupt…too just too fast.
As I mentioned, the romance was a bit unbelievable. Charity falls in love with the man who is chasing her. She originally thinks he’s a murderer (and insane!), and he even leads her to believe this. After an absolutely thrilling car chase through the French countryside, he ends up catching up to her. Then he takes her out to dinner, explains the misunderstanding. Naturally, as soon as she finds out he’s not in fact insane, or trying to kill her she runs straight into his arms, convinced he’s her soul mate! What. the. heck.
The romance was just too far fetched, I think if it had been more of a gradual build up it could have been a bit better. That said, it’s just that type of book. It could have been worse I suppose. The other elements in this book weren’t cheesy, which is why I was so disappointed that that element fell short.
Parts I loved about this book were the car chase scenes! They were thrilling, reading them I could feel the wind rushing past me, the blood pumping in my veins as they sped through towns, barely outstripped trains, and hurtled around oncoming cars.
I think it’s a good read if you want something light and entertaining. Or if you want to escape to the French countryside but can’t afford (or aren’t able) to travel right now.
This book is similar to:
- Agatha Christies mystery novels – The tone and style is very similar, if not the actual story.
- Dorothy Sayers – Mostly because it’s set in the same timeframe, but I would describe the writing as also bearing some similarities.