20 April 2021

Review: The Paris Affair by Pip Drysdale

The Paris Affair by Pip Drysdale book cover
* Copy courtesy of Simon & Schuster *

Harper Brown is an arts and culture journalist for The Paris Observer who dreams of advancing to become an investigative journalist so that she can write about what really matters. A huge fan of true crime podcasts, Harper is independent, savvy, self-absorbed, street-smart, driven and desperate to write about the string of crimes in Paris concerning missing women.

Soon after researching and interviewing a local artist for a news story with an edge, the artist's model disappears and Harper is drawn to investigate. Previously the writer of a micro-column called How Not To Get Murdered, Harper knows how to pick a lock and escape from duct tape, and she's going to need all of her skills.

The Paris Affair is a contemporary crime novel, with Harper at the centre trying to solve a murder while using the opportunity to further her career. Harper reminded me a little of a female version of the Martin Scarsden character from the Chris Hammer series of books set in Australia. While Harper is a young, single and ambitious woman with an admittedly different background, both Drysdale and Hammer offer readers the chance to explore a 'whodunnit' through the eyes of a journalist, making a nice change from the regular lineup of detectives, FBI, coroners and pathologists that regularly frequent my shelves.

Being a non-French speaker, the French chapter headings were a little distracting, and unnecessary in my opinion. The author did a convincing job of setting the scene firmly in Paris with references to art galleries and the unique geography of lesser known Paris, along with all of the stairs and door codes.

Harper lives her life according to her rule of 'do no harm', and believes that love can only end in one of three ways: disillusionment, death or divorce. As a result, she doesn't let anyone get too close, and severs relationships before they can fully form. Her friendship with her best friend Camilla was endearing but the ending of the book was unexpected. Each time I thought the book had finished, I was rewarded with another chapter that felt like an additional prologue or bonus post-credits scene firmly wrapping up Harper's situation.

The Paris Affair by Australian author Pip Drysdale is an entertaining crime thriller recommended for fans of savvy characters, art, journalism and all things Parisian.

You can seize this book at Booktopia.

My Rating:

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