Written by J. Robert Janes
Review by Eileen Charbonneau

This is the sixteenth in Janes’ series following the exploits of the World War II partnership between a French police inspector and his equally ingenious German counterpart in Nazi-occupied Paris. The two are thrown into action in the fall of 1943, after a double murder and a bank-owned cargo van is abandoned, leaving much of its treasures – both bank notes and black market contraband – intact, and with a pair of abandoned red high-heeled shoes indicating another passenger.

The search takes them through the killing fields of the Great War, an abandoned monastery, and the treacherous underworld in time of war. The pair’s superiors are growing increasingly hostile as they search for the mystery woman, who they believe is an agent. As the war is looking grim for the Third Reich, getting themselves and their loved ones through their investigation raises the stakes.

Compelling dangers and well-wrought characterizations are marred by writing that could have benefited from another edit. Overlong sentences, too many point-of-view shifts, and an overuse of the passive voice contribute to a slog through a narrative that is often confusing when it should be intriguing.