Saturday, September 27, 2008

Murder on the Eiffel Tower

Murder on the Eiffel Tower, by Claude Izner

I received this as an ARC from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers group, and if I hadn't been obligated to review it, I would never have finished it. This book is a very weak historical thriller set in the heady atmosphere of the Paris Exposition of 1889. It has the stiff prose I associate with bad translation, but translation alone can't account for its clunky exposition, unrealistic dialog, shallow characterization, haphazard plotting, and pointless name-checking. The hero suspects his lover and business partner on less than no evidence, and never does come around to guessing the identity of the real killer until he reveals himself. In a way, that's not surprising, since the killer's motive is laughable, and the authors provide no substantive clues whatever.