I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for A Long Night in Paris by Dov Alfon, an excellent spy thriller from a former Israeli intelligence officer.
When an Israeli tech entrepreneur disappears from Charles de Gaulle airport with a woman in red, logic dictates youthful indiscretion. But Israel is on a state of high alert nonetheless. Colonel Zeev Abadi, the new head of Unit 8200’s autonomous Special Section, who just happens to be in Paris, also just happens to have arrived on the same flight.
For Commissaire Léger of the Paris Police coincidences have their reasons, and most are suspect. When a second young Israeli is kidnapped soon after arriving on the same flight, this time at gunpoint from his hotel room, his suspicions are confirmed – and a diplomatic incident looms.
Back in Tel Aviv, Lieutenant Oriana Talmor, Abadi’s deputy, is his only ally, applying her sharp wits to the race to identify the victims and the reasons behind their abduction. In Paris a covert Chinese commando team listens to the investigation unfurl and watches from the rooftops. While by the hour the morgue receives more bodies from the river and the city’s arrondissements.
The clock has been set. And this could be a long night in the City of Lights.
A Long Night in Paris takes place over the course of a single day, and plays to the title of a long night. It reminded me a little of the TV series 24 in this respect, and I liked the frequent reminders of what time it was so that I could track the progress of the investigation. While I’ve no real understanding of how intelligence agencies actually work, A Long Night in Paris felt authentic, as you’d expect from someone who has worked in that industry. I’m sure that Alfon hasn’t completely revealed the inner workings of intelligence agencies, but this did feel realistic. I do sometimes struggle with spy novels, and feel that some of the detail is a little over my head, but I found this novel to be extremely approachable.
The novel is formed of many (121, to be precise) small chapters, which helps to keep the pace high, and also allows Alfon to change the perspective from which the story is told regularly, moving around the key, and perhaps not so key, players. I did find this a little confusing at first. The reader is introduced to a lot of characters early on, and I struggled a little with remembering who everyone was and what their role in the novel was, but I soon found that this became clearer, so stick with it if you find it a little confusing to begin with!
I don’t want to go into the plot in any detail, as I think that the above blurb tells the reader enough, but I highly recommend A Long Night in Paris to fans of spy thrillers as well as those that enjoy shows such as Homeland. I loved the characters, and I very much enjoyed Alfon’s writing style. It’s easy to see why this has been a big hit in other countries, and I expect that it will do very well in the UK too.
A Long Night in Paris was published on 10 January by MacLehose Press, an imprint of Quercus. Many thanks to the publisher for the early review copy, and to Corinna Zifko for the opportunity to join the blog tour.
Make sure you check out the other stops on the tour: