Monday, January 23, 2012

Chasing Mona Lisa

Chasing Mona Lisa by Mike Yorkey & Tricia Goyer is the sequel to The Swiss Courier about Gabi Mueller, a Swiss-American woman working behind the scenes in WWII to help the Allies save the day. This novel picks up shortly after the events of the previous book with Gabi and her boyfriend Eric traveling to Paris to bring first aid supplies and aid to the Resistance fighters in the city. Paris is on the crux of exploding as the Germans refuse to let go of the city that is slipping out of their fingers, and the Parisians who have been under boche control for four years are ready to shake the yoke of oppression no matter the cost. Gabi and Eric arrive just at the most dangerous moment and are quickly taken under the wing of Bernard Rousseu, a resistance fighter for the Communist party. Gabi discovers some papers that make Bernard question the loyalty of his girlfriend, Collette, who is in charge of keeping the Mona Lisa out of the hands of the Nazis. When a plot is discovered to steal the famed painting, Gabi, Eric, Bernard, and Collette are on the chase of their lives to keep it out of Nazi hands, even though some of their motives may be different than what they appear. The authors include lots of fascinating history that will keep readers enthralled. I've never heard the stories about Occupied Paris, and they portray a city on the edge very well. I wish the story had remained there. There were some unbelievable elements that made me feel like the authors used Deus ex Machina a bit too much. A too convenient notebook and a bait-and-switch that many readers will find hard to swallow. Bernard's communism is portrayed as idealistic and he as a hero, so when he changes sides, I kept waiting for him to come to his senses. It just didn't make sense based on what the writers had displayed in him as a character. There is also a lot of shocking violence here, especially a death with garden shears, and a stomach-churning threat against a small child. This violence seemed out of place with the rest of the novel, especially when perpetrated by the good guys! This novel isn't of the same quality as The Swiss Courier when the characters leave Paris, but when they are in the City of Lights, the story truly shined.

Thank you to LitFuse Publicity for providing me with a copy of this book for review.