Friday, April 16, 2010

Paris City of Night -- David Downie

This is a man-on-the-run thriller involving secret codes and lots of local color. Jay Grant is a former paparazzo who deals in vintage photographs and daguerreotypes, occasionally on the shady side (i. e. forgeries). Jay's father was a spy during WWII and used daguerreotypes to smuggle coded messages in Morse code. Now there are more coded daguerreotypes that might be connected to a terrorist attack on Paris. The CIA and Homeland Security want Jay's help, but he's not sure he trusts them. Other people are after him as well, and everybody's dangerous. Jay decides that he'd better not trust anyone until he figures out what's going on, including who murdered his aunt and his father.

Why use such a seemingly out-dated method of smuggling code? Because nobody has the technology to deal with it, for one thing. Only someone like Jay is equipped to develop the daguerreotypes and find the hidden messages. And he's the only one with the key to the otherwise unbreakable code. No wonder everybody's after him. It's a relentless pursuit, and you begin to wonder if sleep-deprived Jay will collapse before he can figure things out.

You can learn a lot about photography from Paris City of Night, and there's local color galore to go along with all the action. Check it out.

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