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on July 1, 2017
An exceptionally well written book with a fast paced story line and many plot surprises. Two of the Monument Men after World War II are murdered as is the family of the main character of the book - Edouard/Eddie Grant. This follows him as he attempts to locate a famous painting which has been lost since the last days of the war. He finds his father's and family's deaths are tied into finding the painting. Everything moves very quickly from locale to locale - Paris to the USA and back to Paris. A very well done chase with virtually no dull moments. My only rather minor complaint is the over abundance of characters which sometimes become a bit confusing. Other than that small issue, this is a book this reader would recommend to anyone looking for a mystery. Also a delightful visit to Paris which is a marvelous city.
7 people found this helpful
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on October 6, 2012
I reserve "brilliant" for works by John McPhee and James Michener, but on that scale, John Pearce's Treasure of Saint-Lazare is at least "very good." Considering it's an early work from an unheralded author who clearly understands the key to hooking readers is to create believable characters and to craft a thrilling plot with unexpected twists and turns, I fully expect Pearce to move up the scale with his subsequent works.

I'll try not to include spoilers here, but to quickly lay out the plot, it's 2008, and a displaced American in Paris, Eddie Grant, gets sucked into a deadly search to find a Raphael painting that disappeared at the end of World War Two. Grant, a former soldier, follows in the footsteps of his late father, a military intelligence agent who once tracked down art looted by the Nazis. From Paris and Sarasota, assisted by a woman from his past, Jen Wetzmuller, he sets out to locate the priceless work of art. It's a race against time to find both the painting and the killers of Wetzmuller's father -- who also happened to be his own father's partner, Roy Castor, in finding stolen works of art. In fact, it's Castor's murder that touches off the rapidly unfolding and suspenseful chain of events that will have you holding your breath until the thrilling denouement.

The best thing about Pearce's book is how absolutely readable it is. Many new-ish authors lard up on descriptions as if they get paid by the adjective. His writing does description nicely in a spare way. Dialogue is realistic among characters, who are not at all cartoonish. The protagonist, Eddie Grant, has both an interesting past and a riveting dark side that keep the reader sympathetic to him. The book's unlikely and unexpected pairing of Paris and Sarasota as dual settings is unusual and quite different and unpretentious. Pearce does just as enthusiastic a job introducing readers to the City of Crackers as he does the City of Lights.

I actually felt this book was too short. It ended abruptly, and I was left wanting more -- more Eddie Grant, more Jen Wetzmuller and more intricate plot. Pearce has done a strong job introducing and developing characters, and I look forward to greeting them again in the pages of a new book.

If I have any suggestion for Pearce, it would be to treat his book like one of the fine French red wines his characters drink and let the plot (and the readers) breathe a bit. Much like a Hong Kong movie, action is a bit too fast-paced. Readers need more interludes, more time to reflect and absorb. This book could have run another 20 pages and would have been even better for it. Lastly, while I was fascinated to go inside the mixed- and expatriate culture of Americans abroad, absent a family tree, it was a bit hard to follow whose mother was French, who lived in Germany, who married whom and why. It was an early distraction in the book, but luckily, one that passed quickly and never again was a factor.

I wish Pearce luck. He's publishing under his own steam and his own label. It's a rough world out there to get your name in lights and your book on the bestseller list. I've read a lot of new authors recently, searching for the next pearl in the rough and a new author who doesn't just phone things in. With the Treasure of Saint-Lazare, I think I've found them. Now, Pearce just needs another few hundred thousand avid readers to agree with me and discover this book. They should. He is, indeed, ready for prime time.
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on September 6, 2016
Face-paced thriller spanning the globe from Paris to the states, The Treasure of Saint-Lazare takes off with the hit and run murder of a former partner of Eddie Grant's father. The two men were Monument Men, American soldiers who attempted to recover stolen artwork from the Nazi's. Eddie and Jen, his former flame investigate the crime discovering it may be linked to a tragedy in Eddie's family from years ago. Reminiscent of Steve Berry's The Amber Room, Pearce takes the reader on an action-packed journey from Paris's glittering streets to Florida's Sarasota, the scene of the crime, searching for answers for the stolen artwork. A nice blend of history, art, and action. I received this book voluntarily to read.
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on June 1, 2016
A lot like a sail boat. At times the wind in the sails causes the boat (story) to move swiftly through the water. Other times it's like a boat caught in the doldrums...it just drifts slowly until another wind comes along. I'm not sure I want to read book 2.
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on June 7, 2016
This story follows Eddie and his friends as they delve into Nazi history trying to solve murders and the disappearance of Nazi gold and art treasures. This search leads them into some seedy and sometimes dangerous areas. The author describes these scenes in France and Sarasota they travel to with so much detail that you can visualize them and felt like I was there too. The character descriptions were so well done that I could grasp their personalities. I wanted to keep reading to find out if they finally discovered the hiding place of all those missing treasures.
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on April 30, 2016
I thought the writing was only so-so. Never really got to care about the characters. Plotting was interesting but not particularly inventive.
6 people found this helpful
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Overall. Not as much as I'd like in the character development and plot complexity departments, but if you need to disappear for a few hours, this'll do the trick.
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on August 5, 2017
Treasure of Saint-Lazare by Pearce. I really enjoyed this story and found it a page-turner. I have been to Paris but I didn't remember most of the places. The search for the Nazi gold and Raphael painting was full of intrigue with an opening for the next story. The characters were well-developed especially the protagonist, Eddie Grant. Wouldn't we all want to be like him, going from woman to woman, Paris to Sarasota, and rich into the bargain. He's had his sad moments with close relatives being murdered. It's not all plain sailing.
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on May 14, 2018
This is a fun and interesting mystery and treasure hunt. It takes place both in Paris and in Sarasota FL. Loving Paris, as I do, I was much more interested in those portions, than the activities in FL. Characters are interesting as are the historic (but fictional) flashbacks to WWII. The only times I became bored was during the repetitive segments centered around Grant's father Arti and his relationship with Roy. Overall a nifty rainy day read.
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on February 26, 2017
I'm on page 54 of the paperback. Will someone tell me what happens so I won't have to finish it?
3 people found this helpful
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