Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Review: Where would I Be Without You? by Guillaume Musso

My edition: Paperback, published in 2011 by Gallic Books, 348 pages.

Description: Parisian cop Martin Beaumont has never really got over his first love, Gabrielle. Their brief, intense affair in San Francisco and the pain of her rejection still haunt him years later. Now, however, he's a successful detective - and tonight he's going to arrest the legendary art thief, Archibald Maclean, when he raids the Musee d'Orsay for a priceless Van Gogh.

But the enigmatic Archibald has other plans. Martin's pursuit of the master criminal across Paris is the first step in an adventure that will take him back to San Francisco, and to the edge of love and life itself.

Review:

Where Would I Be Without You? is a book that is hard to pin down. Starting out as a romantic chick-lit it quickly turns into a cop detective and finishing off as a paranormal novel. The style it's written in also changes regularly sometimes listing the name of a character in bold followed by their line and spending a scene laid out in quotes and other times dividing chapters by listing the time and location above a paragraph. This isn't necessarily a bad thing but it can sometimes be distracting and it does make me wonder what author Guillaume Musso's reasoning was behind the alternating styles.

However the story itself is absolutely marvelous and manages to be mostly realistic despite the sometimes very convenient placing of the characters and the otherwordly experience described in the final few chapters. The author also has a knack for using wonderfully touching words without sounding cheesy or pretentious, such as this exchange between the main character of Martin and a young girl he feels protective of:

'Have you ever heard the expression "out of sight, out of mind"?'
She shook her head.
As he explained to her why this expression would never, ever apply to them, an angel passed above and lightly brushed the last rays of the Winter sun with its wings.


Already selling more than 1 million copies worldwide Where Would I Be Without You? has recently been translated from French into English and will be released on April 4 2011 in the United Kingdom.

8/10

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