Sunday, March 5, 2023

"Night Flight to Paris"

Cara Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 20 books in the Private Investigator Aimée Leduc series, and two World War II-set novels featuring American markswoman Kate Rees. Black has received multiple nominations for the Anthony and Macavity Awards, a Washington Post Book World Book of the Year citation, the Médaille de la Ville de Paris—the Paris City Medal, which is awarded in recognition of contribution to international culture—and invitations to be the Guest of Honor at conferences such as the Paris Polar Crime Festival and Left Coast Crime.

Black applied the Page 69 Test to Night Flight to Paris, the new Kate Rees novel, and reported the following:
Page 69 is a new chapter in the story beginning with Dieter von Holz, a German military intelligence officer - the Abwehr - in his office at the Hotel Lutetia which the Germans have requisitioned. Giving it a notorious reputation after the war.

From the book:
The only message on Dieter's belle époque desk read Call home. Never a good sign.

Dieter, on alert, scanned the bustling activity in the ornate Hotel Lutetia suite, sage-hued rooms trimmed with gild-edged wood boiserie. Each Abwehr officer was assigned to one of the elegant hotel's 233 guest rooms.
I think you would get a good idea of the story and pick up on the complications this page reveals - Does Dieter have a problem homelife? But this section sets up what later shows in this chapter that Dieter is a complex character and serves two masters.

In researching the history of the Hotel Lutetia I discovered amazing facts about the hotel. In the pre-war era, de Gaulle spent his honeymoon there. After the Germans requisitioned it, the Abwehr jumped in to claim this jewel as its HQ and this revealed a lot about the infighting of the Nazi services all currying for Hitler's favors. Backstabbing to get ahead was in the climate during the Occupation especially in the Abwehr. Post war, de Gaulle insisted that the French deportees and camp survivors who returned be put up at this hotel so relatives via the Red Cross could find them. Many stories of sadness, loss and joy come from this time when people found or didn't find their missing relatives at the Hotel Lutetia post war. It touched me so much when I heard my friend tell me about her own mother who'd come here every day to find her sister. Her sister never returned. I used this in my first book, Murder in the Marais and find that now, many books later, I could explore the other side of the war in this place - Dieter, this conflicted German - who would work there and it feels like a full circle to me.
Visit Cara Black's website and follow her on Twitter.

The Page 69 Test: Murder at the Lanterne Rouge.

The Page 69 Test: Murder below Montparnasse.

The Page 69 Test: Murder in Pigalle.

The Page 69 Test: Three Hours in Paris.

--Marshal Zeringue