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  • Location: Paris

The Paris Architect

The Paris Architect

Why a Booktrail?

1942s Paris is a dangerous world. An architect is given a commission that if caught, would mean certain death.

  • ISBN: 978-0749019471
  • Genre: Fiction, Historical

What you need to know before your trail

Lucien Bernard is a gifted and well respected architect, but is finding work is dwindling in war-time Paris. The Germans have infiltrated the city and are demanding new buildings and their own stamp on their style. Lucien is therefore surprised to receive a commission from a man who wants to hide a wealthy Jewish man – to create a space so secret that no Nazi soldier would ever find it. He accepts the risky challenge but on another project, tragedy occurs and his whole world is turned upside down. All the while, the shuddering jolt of those marching Nazi boots are coming ever closer….

Travel Guide

Paris during the Nazi occupation was a dangerous place for any man. For an architect tasked with hiding Jews in the walls, cellars, under the stairs of his buildings, even more so. From the very first page, the veil of fear in every  second of life is apparent when a man gets shot in the street yards from where Lucien was walking. The risk a man took walking in the streets, if he looked at a guard in the wrong way, if he failed to acknowledge them if, if….

Lucien takes on the project to outwit the most feared Nazis – the Gestapo and   at the same time tries to keep those he loves safe. What incredible risks, innocent French people were prepared to take to protect Jews from the Germans – as the world is described in graphic and horrific detail, the humanity of those who care shines through. You can see each and ever crevice that Lucien builds to hide these people, the ingenious building tricks, the tricks of the trade.. you will never see a building in the same way again. Genius.

The entire Nazi occupation is seen from a very unique and fascinating viewpoint. Life in occupied France was a daily dance with death, the hatred and fear of the Jewish families in your own apartment bloc even was shameful but the fear of betrayal is portrayed as living on a knife edge.

Graphic and brutal in places – this will make you shake with tears.

Streetview Maps

B) 28 Rue Galilée
C) Rue des Saussies...where fear lives in the novel

Booktrailer Review

Susan thebooktrailer

Now this is a book where you need a full box of hankies before you start. This has left me with such a feeling of sadness and happiness at the same time as the good and evil of people is seen from every angle. I can honestly say that I have not read a book that has moved me so much in a long time. I knew it was going to be a difficult read given the subject matter but this was so richly evoked and seen through the eyes of humane characters that I was close to tears at many times. The idea that an architect would try to hide people in his buildings was genius and sometimes sadly tragic but the courage of these people shone through. The links between certain characters at times made me cry out and want to warn the others  – it’s a gripping read and would well be based on real acts of courage. I also found the book very clever in that it didn’t go the way I thought it might – there are lots of moments of tension and a direction I did not see coming! The author is an architect but he’s woven the most fascinating side of this into a gripping thriller which illustrates such a tragic time of our history and he shows and pays homage to those who tried to show the world what humans can be capable of  – good and bad. I often asked myself what would I have done in this situation – what is right and wrong in war? An amazing look at WW2 and the Jewish persecution.

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Twitter: @charlesbelfoure

Facebook: /CharlesBelfoureAuthor

Web: charlesbelfoure.com

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