Parisian P.I. Aimée Leduc is attacked and blinded during an investigation. Can she solve her case without her sight—and when her own life is in danger?
Parisian private investigator Aimée Leduc is all dressed up in her new Chinese silk jacket, supposedly a designer’s “exclusive,” for dinner with a difficult client at an elegant restaurant in the Bastille district. She is chagrined to see that the woman seated at the very next table is wearing an identical jacket. When the woman leaves her cell phone on the table, Aimée follows her to return it and is attacked in the shadowy Passage Boule Blanche. When she regains consciousness, Aimée finds that she is blind. Nevertheless, she is told she is lucky; the woman she was following was found in the next passage, murdered.
Aimée is determined to identify her attacker. Was he actually a serial killer targeting showy blondes, as the police insist? Was he really after the other woman? Or was Aimée his intended victim?
PI Aim e Leduc is in the dark not only figuratively but literally after a mysterious attack leaves her blinded at the start of her fourth absorbing Paris mystery (after 2002's Murder in the Sentier). Aim e and her partner, computer expert Ren Friant, face dual dilemmas as a client's recalcitrance to comply with a court request coincides with Aim e's misfortune. The diminutive Ren must become the eyes of the team while Aim e makes do as best she can with her other senses. Meanwhile, with her attacker still on the loose and the police off on a wrong scent chasing a serial killer, Aim e remains a vulnerable target. Black loads her plot with Eastern European thugs, aggressive developers and other familiar villains, but she compensates the reader with the rich ambiance of Paris as well as a realistic and moving account of Aim e's coming to terms with her new condition. Some readers may be annoyed by the use of French words and phrases not obvious from context, but for the rest of us these authentic touches will be as welcome as the fresh butter on our morning croissant.