Meet Aimée Leduc, the smart, stylish Parisian private investigator, in her bestselling first investigation
Aimée Leduc has always sworn she would stick to tech investigation—no criminal cases for her. Especially since her father, the late police detective, was killed in the line of duty. But when an elderly Jewish man approaches Aimée with a top-secret decoding job on behalf of a woman in his synagogue, Aimée unwittingly takes on more than she is expecting. She drops off her findings at her client’s house in the Marais, Paris’s historic Jewish quarter, and finds the woman strangled, a swastika carved on her forehead. With the help of her partner, René, Aimée sets out to solve this horrendous murder, but finds herself in an increasingly dangerous web of ancient secrets and buried war crimes.
The initial installment of a projected series of mysteries set in Paris, this standout first novel introduces dauntless private investigator Aim e Leduc. The French-American, whose specialty is computer forensics, is confronted with a seemingly mundane task: to decipher an encrypted photograph from the '40s and deliver it to an old woman in the Marais (the historic Jewish quarter of Paris). When Aim e arrives at the home of Lili Stein to present the photo, however, she finds the woman dead, a swastika carved into her forehead. Thus begins a thrilling, quick-paced chase involving neo-Nazis, corrupt government officials and fierce anti-Semitism. With the help of her partner, Ren , a computer hacking expert, Aim e uncovers tantalizing clues relating to German war veteran Hartmuth Griffe, the Jewish girl he saved from Auschwitz, a French trade minister and other enigmatic figures. But the data Aim e and Ren come up with only takes them so far. In order to understand the true motive behind the killing, Aim e must delve into history, confronting older residents of the quarter--who'd prefer she leave the past alone--and doing some undercover work. The suspense is high as she fraternizes dangerously with the enemy, even becoming briefly involved with an Aryan supremacist. Black knows Paris well, and in her first-rate debut she deftly combines fascinating anecdotes from the city's war years with classic images of the City of Lights.