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The Same River Twice    by Ted Mooney order for
Same River Twice
by Ted Mooney
Order:  USA  Can
Vintage, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

There are three important aspects to this wonderful book. First, the beautiful prose that must be assiduously read to fully appreciate it. Second, the plot that jumps from one character to another without losing a beat or the sense of urgency the story demands. Third, the finely crafted characters from different countries England, France, Russia, Holland, America who make the book what it is. A tour de force.

Max makes movies without scripts and without artificial lights. His wife Odile is a dress designer. Nondescript personages living and loving in Paris. Not the people one would expect to get wrapped up in international intrigue involving brain stem research, or to be friends with a Hollander restoring a vintage houseboat on the Seine. Odile, as a courier, makes a run to Moscow to pay for and pick up antique, handmade May Day Flags for resale to a discriminating clientele with money to spend.

Sometimes nothing is what it seems. How do such innocuous beginnings turn out so deadly? People seem to disappear from the storyline. Odile takes an unwanted tour of the Paris underground. Max's thirteen year-old daughter from a previous marriage arrives for the summer, bringing teenage angst with her. Mysterious people, a mysterious plot, and fine writing make for excellent reading in The Same River Twice.

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