The Same River Twice

The Same River Twice

by Ted Mooney

Arlene Almas: The river is the Seine, and the story is that of Odile, a French fashion designer, and her American husband Max, an indie movie director. Their life in Paris goes well until Odile uncharacteristically accepts a request for a favor by traveling to Russia with a companion, a stranger to her, to pick up a collection of old Soviet banners. This sets in motion a plot pitting Odile against various thugs and criminals. At the same time, Max is filming an unscripted movie involving their friends Rachel and Groot, who are repairing and renovating the houseboat on which they live, moored on the Seine. All inevitably become enmeshed in the escalating violence initiated by Odile's actions. Perhaps we see the same river twice in the sense that one exists in real life and the second appears in Max's movie, which manages to capture most of the action. This book is a thriller written in a literate manner, with the characters' relationships as much a part of the narrative as the criminal plotting. The unfolding events held my interest until the very end.
Rating: ***

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