by Velda Johnston
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
A surprisingly entertaining thriller. I genuinely could not figure out who the major villain was or what the overall scheme was until it was actually presented. There wasn’t a lot of action, but that actually really worked for the story. The majority of the suspense really came from Dorothy, the main character, constantly feeling like she was being watched. She never knew if anyone around her was out to get her or not, which was elevated even more with the fact that she was so far from home. I will admit there were a few decisions that the main character made that I didn’t really agree with so a few plot threads concluded in a way I didn’t enjoy, but these didn’t affect the overall plot.
All My Thoughts
May contain spoilers.
I found myself enjoying this book even before the suspense plot really kicked in. Dorothy is a woman with some baggage, as we learn when her ex-husband is on the flight to Paris she is working. All we know is that he messed up and she left. I actually really liked how much conviction she had about this despite everyone telling her to just get back with him, claiming he’s a catch. She essentially refuses to have anything to do with him. As soon as they get to Paris though everything gets a little strange.
She is nearly abducted and we really don’t know why. It feels a lot like just a random kidnapping, but of course, her ex was there watching and saved her. Being American in a foreign country though, they aren’t exactly taken seriously. She spends the rest of her time trying to hide from the authorities as well as whomever tried to take her, all while trying not to be around her ex but failing miserably.
I loved that I also really wasn’t sure what was going on or why she specifically was targeted. It really worked for the story and nothing too extreme happened throughout. It was the feeling of suspicion and paranoia Dorothy is constantly dealing with that is the highlight of the book. When you finally find out that it’s because of her scientist brother that she was being kidnapped things start to fall into place. I do find it a wee bit far-fetched that they were just going to replace her with a lookalike, but honestly, I can forgive that. That part I didn’t really like is that Dorothy ends up remarrying her ex-husband. I understand that he helped her and all that, but the book does border on being a bit sexist in that regard. We find out somewhere in the story that they divorced because he cheated on her with her celebrity sister, who we also find out he was originally interested in before meeting Dorothy. I genuinely don’t think this was something she should have just forgiven him for. It was a perfectly good reason to end things with him and not want to have that in her life anymore. Again I do feel like this tips into the sexist issues the book had, though It didn’t completely kill the narrative for me and I do understand that with it written in 1975 it wouldn’t have been such a noticeable thing.
This was an enjoyable slow-paced suspense with some genuinely surprising plot reveals.