Rhys Bowen is one of the best in the biz when it comes to narrative – I think her closest peer may be Harlan Coben. With both writers, picking up one of their books means you will be subsumed by exquisite storytelling that’s impossible to look away from. Rhys Bowen trends more toward historical fiction rather than Coben’s domestic suspense model, so if that’s your jam, you can’t go wrong nabbing a copy of her latest book, The Paris Assignment.
The story begins in 1931 Paris, when young Sorbonne students Madeline Grant and Giles Martin meet. Madeline is shy and sheltered, and Giles, the son of French nobility, is at home in Paris. Madeline, at the Sorbonne for a semester away from her English college, hadn’t even dared to leave her hostel when Giles scoops her up and introduces her to the world of coffee shops, politics, friends, and fine food. Well, you may guess where this is going – it’s 1931, but – it’s Paris! – and before long Madeline is pregnant. Giles marries her, despite being disowned by his family, and the only support they have left is Madeline’s elderly French aunt.