The Paris Architect
By Charles Belfoure
How is everyone out there? Now I know that this one is not new, but I hadn’t read it. I don’t know how I missed this one? This was published in 2013. I was actually checking out the books at the Target store and I saw this paperback. I took a good look and thought: Why haven’t I read this one. That was when the book leaped into the cart next to the new socks and the airborn that I needed. It was too interesting to pass up. LOL.
Like most gentiles in Nazi-occupied Paris, architect Lucien Bernard has little empathy for the Jews. So when a wealthy industrialist offers him a large sum of money to devise secret hiding places for Jews, Lucien struggles with the choice of risking his life for a cause he doesn’t really believe in. Ultimately he can’t resist the challenge and begins designing expertly concealed hiding spaces—behind a painting, within a column, or inside a drainpipe—detecting possibilities invisible to the average eye. But when one of his clever hiding spaces fails horribly and the immense suffering of Jews becomes incredibly personal, he can no longer deny reality.
This is a well written tale for a debut author. It depicts what it was like in German occupied France during World War II. I found this story to be very believable. I wanted it to be true. Lucien is involved in a terrible game. The stakes are high. If he is discovered he will become a victim like the Jews in his hiding place. Money is what has been driving him. It allows him to purchase food on the black market. When a Jew that was in his designed hiding space dies, Lucien feels responsible. What effect will this turn of events have for Lucien? How will he deal with the day-to-day fear of being caught? Will he be arrested and killed? A fascinating and fast paced book. The portrayal of events and the history make this story entirely believable. I would be interested to see more from this writer. I feel that his style is developing and that the story line was a great one. I liked the ending! I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.