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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Friday, January 30, 2015

Bodies and Plots and Connect the Dots in France!

Mortal AmbitionsMortal Ambitions by Patrick Philippart
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This first reads mystery starts off in the early morning hours when a vacationing journalist, suffering a bout of insomnia, is sitting on a balcony smoking a cigarette and sipping some wine. Suddenly, the quite is broken by what sounds like a gunshot. Fifteen minutes later there is another shot and then the quiet of early morning returns and he goes back to bed. When he awakes there are police at the house next door and being a journalist he heads over to get his foot in the news door first. Seems the home belongs to a government minister who claims to have startled a burglar whom he shot in the act. The police are satisfied that it is an open and shut case. Our journalist does not like the inconsistencies in the Minister's story and decides to investigate further. He calls his editor in Paris, tells him of the burglary and his misgivings. He is authorized to pursue the case. And thus begins the page turning quest of Dimitri Boizot.

In very short order, Dimitri starts to gather bits of information that begin to form a cluster of dots much like a connect the dots puzzle. The only problem with this puzzle is that, though Dimitri thinks they should form a picture, they seem to be related but cannot seem to be connected. Along the way, he encounters high school classmates of the Minister, a widow of one who is murdered the same night as the burglar but in a different town, the sister of another classmate who died in a car accident years ago. Each of these characters are interesting and move the story along. It is not until the very end of the book that all the scattered dots and bigger pieces fall into place and the back story is revealed. Exciting sleuthing and myriad characters provide a satisfying who dunnit for a lazy snowy day and evening.

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