Previously published in France in 2014, Central Park is an intriguing thriller by best-selling French writer Guillaume Musso. It was released in North America in March 2021.
It begins with the shock of Alice Schafer, Police Captain of the Criminal Division of Paris waking up in Central Park, New York, handcuffed to a complete stranger.
She is particularly stunned when her recent memories end with a night on the town with her friends in Paris, France the previous evening.
Her unintended companion is jazz musician Gabriel Kenye who thinks they are in Ireland where he played his last gig.
Now if that doesn’t set someone reading, nothing will!
They have no ID. Alice has blood on her shirt, yet she appears unharmed. Gabriel has a series of numbers freshly scratched into his flesh.
They are confused about where they are, why and how they got there, and the motives behind whoever orchestrated such an elaborate plan. Undeterred, they set about working together to find the answers.
They recruit Alice’s friend and colleague in France to help them. Alice soon realizes her tragic past has come back to haunt her, and an infamous serial killer who she thought was dead might be gunning for her life. But why is Gabriel involved?
Central Park is definitely a page turner. Musso writes with an easy style that always keeps you guessing and posing new questions to each and every unusual event. He complicates things, yet connects the dots well.
With so many strange and unpredictable things happening, the story easily holds your attention. A couple of chase scenes are quite fun and the characters are solid.
Alice is pure police; intense and driven, but she has a past.
I was mystified by what for a while was a disconnect between Gabriel’s often too casual and sometimes playful attitude and what I would expect from someone handcuffed to a stranger in a city, let alone a continent in which he had not intended to be.
Still, Central Park is exciting.
Alice and Gabriel are closing the gap between themselves and the killer when an abrupt and staggering twist occurs that changes everything.
After being caught up in the plot for ¾ of the novel, I didn’t see it coming. Of course, I wasn’t supposed to, but since I wanted a satisfying resolution to the tracking of the killer, I was less than thrilled. I enjoy a good plot twist, just not the type utilized in Central Park.
For me, the ending was a groaner, somewhat syrupy and less than believable.
Back Bay Books 2021
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