Three Hours in Paris

Written by Cara Black
Review by Vicki Kondelik

Cara Black, best known for the Aimée Leduc mystery series, has given us an exciting, fast-paced World War II thriller in Three Hours in Paris. Kate Rees, a young American markswoman who lost her husband and infant daughter in a bombing attack on their home in Scotland, is recruited by British Intelligence to assassinate Hitler during his visit to Paris in 1940. After she misses her target, Kate goes on the run, using a network of French Resistance workers to help her navigate through the maze of streets, in the hope of getting out of Paris before the Nazis catch her. She takes on various disguises in order not to appear conspicuous. Soon Kate begins to realize that one of her contacts may be an informer for the Nazis. Meanwhile, Gunter Hoffman, a German policeman, is ordered to track Kate down. A deadly game of cat and mouse begins, with Kate always trying to stay one step ahead of her pursuer.

The book is written at a breathtaking pace, in short chapters alternating between Kate’s and Gunter’s points of view. Cara Black keeps you on the edge of your seat. The reader always wants Kate to succeed in her task, and to get out of Paris safely, but Black also manages to present Gunter as a sympathetic character. He has no love for Hitler and the Nazis, and he is only doing his job and trying to get home in time for his daughter’s birthday party. This makes the novel more complex, by letting the reader sympathize with both the hunter and the hunted. Cara Black paints a compelling portrait of occupied Paris, a place where people informed on their neighbors, and no one knew who might be in league with the Nazis. I highly recommend this book.