The Last Layer

We rated this book:


An international insurance investigation leads to intrigue, fine dining, and murder. After paying out more than $300 million in stolen jewelry claims, the New York insurance underwriting firm of Larsen and McTabbit decides to make discrete inquires about the origins of the stolen property. They send their only female partner, 40-year-old Catherine York, to the Caribbean island of St. Barth to investigate the original seller. At the same time, French National Police detective Gerard de Rochenoir arrives in St. Barth to investigate the same business. After Detective de Rochenoir observes Ms. York on a beach with his prime suspect, Sofia Mostov, in a scene that involves sunscreen and a discarded bathing suit top, he finds himself at the firm of Larsen and McTabbit trying to inform them of a possible conspiracy.

Once the complications of the topless beach are resolved, Detective de Rochenoir and Ms. York find that they have more in common than just the case. Follow their love of dining from New York to Paris and their affinity for fine wines from Napa Pinots to French Bordeauxes. If fine wine is not your fave, then the exquisitely prepared French dishes that accompany them might be. Author Lawrence Perlman pulls his readers along the Champs-Élysées and other parts of Paris by their palates.

In their quest to connect murders to the robberies, the dapper Detective de Rochenoir and his flatfoot counterpart, Detective Pierre Abou, follow the case to Rome, Havana, and back to St. Barth. The Sherlock Holmes quoting Abou balances the upper crust de Rochenoir in style and manner.

Perlman’s characters are intelligent, refined, and remarkably believable. His strong narrative drive will keep you up past your bedtime. The dialog is engrossing, and intimacy scenes are deftly handled. As an art buff and rock hound, I enjoyed the well-researched background information, but anyone who loves Paris retail will enjoy the vicarious shopping.

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Star Count 3/5
Format Hard
Page Count 221 pages
Publisher iUniverse
Publish Date 22-Apr-2010
ISBN 9781450216197 Buy this Book
Issue September 2010
Category Mystery, Crime, Thriller


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