Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Paris Architect, by Charles Belfoure

6/100 I just love it when I borrow a book from the library on a whim and it turns out to be a cracking read - and I'm happy to say that "The Paris Architect" by Charles Belfoure falls very much into that category. The book is set in Paris of 1942, and the (reluctant) hero is Lucien Bernard, an architect who takes on a commission from a rich French industrialist to build a secret invisible hiding place in an apartment. He does it at first purely for the money, then for the sheer challenge of it (even though he's terrified of being caught by the Germans) and, finally - when something goes very wrong with one of his constructions and people die - because he suddenly realises that the Jews who have been hiding are actual people, not vermin to be wiped out. The tension ratchets up for the reader, with the Gestapo getting ever closer to catching up with Lucien, even as Lucien himself changes from a selfish, self-centred, self-serving coward to someone who helps others from the goodness of his heart despite the danger. It's a lovely book, so go read it, go, go!

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