My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Opening Sentence: On this brilliantly sunny May morning, Paris was looking at it’s best.
Mark Girland is an ex CIA agent living is Paris who is hired to find the daughter of the future president of the United States and the 3 blue films she made, and to get the situation under control before they fall into the wrong hands and destroy the reputation of the candidate. ( This was back when scandalous and shameful information could actually stop someone from becoming the president of the United States.) Trouble was there were other people who were after the films (and the girl). People like the Russian Secret Service and a gang of very ruthless, very brutal, very determined international operators.
You can’t win em all. This was one of James Hadley Chase’s weaker works. There was too much male posturing and hubris for there to be any realistic substance to the story. First off, we’re talking about the CIA and the Russian Secret Service, and these people are portrayed as mostly stupid individuals with a lot of pride and ego. The protagonist was also barely believable. He felt more like the manifestation of a male fantasy to have a well-paying secretive job where you make all the right moves and make everyone else look dumb, and sleep with a lot of women. Speaking of which, the women characters in the book were annoying at best, and extremely dumb at worst. Their only role seemed to be that off air-headed dolls who jump into bed with everyone. There’s also the case of physical abuse. There seems to be a lot of that going on. It’s not even an issue, that’s how casually its mentioned. It’s normal for them to get smacked around for as little as not answering a question. That really didn’t sit well with me and had me disgusted with the whole story. Despite the fact that there were times I wanted to smack Gillian Sherman, the girl who the whole commotion is about, myself. As stupid as they come.
There were a lot of references to other Chase books throughout the story. The character of Herman Radnitz, who I have just been familiarized with in my previous Chase read,”You’re Dead Without Money”, is increasingly interesting and I am looking forward to seeing him again.
The other references made were to ‘Have This One On Me”, “This Is For Real” and “Believed Violent”.
There was little I liked about this so it seems unfair to list things I didn’t.