Synopsis from Amazon:
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.
In this story of second chances we have three genres to hold our attention – romance, crime and the supernatural.
At the start of the journey each of the characters are finding their way while carrying their unhealed emotional wounds. These wounds distort their interaction with the world of emotion. We follow the characters as they confront their fears and weaknesses through crises to become whole.
Gabrielle, Martin and Archibald are linked but only Archibald knows how.
The story is set in San Francisco and Paris. Gabrielle lives in San Francisco and is studying at Berkeley. Martin lives in Paris and has gone to San Francisco to improve his English and explore. They meet on campus in the Berkeley cafeteria where Martin is working to make ends meet. Their time together during the summer is innocent until the day Martin is due to depart. Gabrielle receives a letter in which Martin tells her of his feelings. She makes it to the airport on time, Martin is able to take another ten days away and so follows their ten days of intimacy and love. Their relationship doesn’t make the long distance.
The two settings are beautifully described with just enough information and focus that I was able to imagine myself in these two cities without ever having visited them.
Martin qualifies to join the police and we then get to meet Archibald as Martin becomes more and more obsessed with capturing him. Archibald is an art thief who has been elusive for many years. It’s during this part of the story that we realise Archibald has been able to manipulate events, even from a distance.
There were a couple of twists that I hadn’t anticipated which made me stop and think (mainly because I was confused). I had to re-evaluate what I already knew. I love stories that have this effect on me. Anything that takes me out of the normal confines of my mind can only be a good thing!
When we hit (what I honestly thought was) the final crisis point, I wondered where the story could possibly lead to next ………………. I wasn’t prepared for where the story took me. Nothing I’d read before had made me think that I would be reading about the paranormal/supernatural. It took me a while to adjust to this change but once I did, I thought it was actually a very imaginative way for resolution …………….. I don’t think it would have been the same in any other way!
The characters are in depth and the plot/sub-plots are brilliant. The story will hold your attention throughout. If you’ve been reading any of my review blogs you will know that makes a story a big hit with me.
The quotations at the start of each new section are so apt for what you are about to read. Lovely to get that ‘extra’ touch in the format of a novel.
Fate brings Gabrielle and Martin back together again. How can they overcome and forgive the pain of the past to lead them into a future together?
Where Would I Be Without You? was published by Gallic Books 4 April 2011.