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The Paris Architectby Charles Belfoure
Synopses & Reviews
A thrilling debut novel of World War II Paris, from an author who's been called "an up and coming Ken Follett." (Booklist)
In 1942 Paris, gifted architect Lucien Bernard accepts a commission that will bring him a great deal of money — and maybe get him killed. But if he's clever enough, he'll avoid any trouble. All he has to do is design a secret hiding place for a wealthy Jewish man, a space so invisible that even the most determined German officer won't find it. He sorely needs the money, and outwitting the Nazis who have occupied his beloved city is a challenge he can't resist.
But when one of his hiding spaces fails horribly, and the problem of where to hide a Jew becomes terribly personal, Lucien can no longer ignore what's at stake. The Paris Architect asks us to consider what we owe each other, and just how far we'll go to make things right.
"How far would you go to help a stranger? What would you risk? Would you trade your life for another's in the name of what is right? Belfoure explores these questions and others in this debut novel set in Paris during the Nazi occupation. Lucien Bernard — who, like the book's author, is an architect — is offered a large sum of money to outsmart the Gestapo by devising unique hiding places for Jews, though he knows that anyone caught helping them will be tortured and killed by the Germans. Danger is everywhere: Lucien's mistress, Adele, a successful fashion designer, has an affair with a Gestapo colonel. Lucien's new assistant will betray him in a heartbeat. Offered a juicy German factory commission that involves working with a Nazi officer who admires architecture and art, Lucien's web weaves more complexly. And when he falls in love with Adele's assistant, rescues a child, and contacts some of the individuals he's saved, the stakes grow higher and Lucien's thoughts turn from money to vengeance. Seamlessly integrated architectural details add to the excitement. Belfoure's characters are well-rounded and intricate. Heart, reluctant heroism, and art blend together in this spine-chilling page-turner. Agent: Susan Ginsburg, Writers House." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"I love that in The Paris Architect, a mercenary, talented man's passion for his creative work leads him down moral roads he never could have envisioned. The ingenious hiding spaces and the people in them infiltrated my imagination for weeks. I dreamed about this novel." Jenna Blum, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us and The Stormchasers
"Belfoure writes like an up-and-coming Ken Follett....There's plenty of detail to interest architecture buffs, too." Booklist
"A vivid, suspenseful story which keeps you gripped to the very last page. Charles Belfoure writes with great warmth, conjuring up an intriguing cast of characters, and painting a fascinating picture of Paris under the Occupation, with all its contradictions — the opulence, and the fear." Margaret Leroy, author of The Soldier's Wife
"In architect Belfoure's fiction debut, the architectural and historical details are closely rendered....A satisfyingly streamlined World War II thriller." Kirkus
"All novelists are architects. But are all architects novelists? Charles Belfoure in his impressive debut seems to have brought us the best of both worlds. Here is a novel to read alongside the latest Alan Furst. I hope there will be more." Alan Cheuse, Novelist and NPR book commentator
"Architect and debut author Belfoure's portrayal of Vichy France is both disturbing and captivating, and his beautiful tale demonstrates that while human beings are capable of great atrocities, they have a capacity for tremendous acts of courage as well." Library Journal
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