Paris, 1940. The Germans have occupied the city. First-person narrator, Eddie Giral, is an intelligent, sensitive police inspector who describes his situation as “a world on borrowed time.” The son of a book dealer, a veteran of the Great War, former German prisoner of war, and a man who has deserted his wife and son as well as significant friends, Eddie is emotionally and morally conflicted.
The plot follows Eddie as he tries to solve a significant crime: the mysterious release of career criminals into the population, where they continue to perpetrate crimes of ugly theft and grisly murder. His work is hampered by the interference of the Abwehr, the Gestapo, the German intelligence service, and even his own police force. At the same time, Eddie feels he must make amends to the people he has hurt in the past; his attempts to do so put his life in danger from many sides. He must continually attempt to determine whom to trust, whom to suspect, where to hide, where to seek answers.
Lloyd paints a vivid picture of Paris: the lines of people trying to buy highly rationed food, the jazz clubs where they try to escape their miseries, and their persistent attempts to block out the brutal facts of the occupation. The plot action is suspenseful and intense. The characters—both heroes and villains—are vividly drawn. This is definitely a captivating read!