An American volunteer heads to a French archaeological dig in this second volume of a mystery series.
Amy Lynch—an insurance investigator like Norton (Sweet Dreams, Sweet Death, 2017)—has put herself first, taking a month off from her Boston company to participate as a volunteer at an archaeological dig in Paris. By doing so, Amy leaves behind a lot of unhappy co-workers and maybe even her career. She’s alone in the French capital, as her lawyer boyfriend, Pete, couldn’t come when his big case got moved up. Amy’s vacation comes to an abrupt end when a body turns up at the main dig site. It’s soon determined that the death was a murder, and additional killings occur, revolving around an old, coded note found at a secondary site. The note harkens back to the French Resistance during World War II and identifies a traitor in the cell’s midst. Because her company insured the dig sites, Amy takes the initiative and starts an investigation of her own, teaming up with Paul Béchard, a hunky French detective. Soon she finds herself a target as well, as she is stalked by a middle-aged man with a red tattoo who trashes her room at a boardinghouse. Amy and Béchard are soon racing to identify the traitor and his henchmen while copies of the note disappear and those connected to the Resistance are being eliminated. In her well-constructed novel, Norton has created an engaging protagonist in Amy, who is bright, brave, and tenacious even if she does get thrown off track by Béchard’s dimples. The tale features a small cast of characters, as many players disappear shortly after being introduced, so Amy has to carry the narrative load. Fortunately, she’s up to the challenge; readers should quickly get invested in what happens to the feisty, heady heroine. With a neat twist in her fast-paced narrative, the author illustrates how events from 80 years in the past can affect people in the present, even Amy herself. Norton seamlessly blends history and mystery into a spellbinding thriller.
This sequel accomplishes the unlikely feat of making an insurance investigator enthralling.