Genre: Political Thriller
Published by: Miss Nyet (Dec 2009)
Pages: 334 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 8.5/10
ETA: ESTIMATED TIME OF ARREST BY DELPHINE PONTVIEUX
About the Book:
WRONG PLACE... After participating in a pro-separatist march that turned violent in January of 1992, 21-year-old Lorenzo Lartaun Izcoa is wrongly charged with the fatal bombing of a police station in his home town.
Irun is a small city located in the heart of the Basque country, trapped between France and Spain, and struggling for independence. Lartaun finds himself on the Spanish Secret Service's most wanted list, branded an active member of the Basque terrorist group ETA. He has no choice but to flee his country.
Two years later, Lartaun's childhood friend bursts back into his life. In exchange for a small favor, he offers him a passport and the chance to return to Europe under a new identity. Lartaun seizes the opportunity.
...WRONG TIME. Back in Europe, hiding away in a commune in the French Pyrenees Mountains, Lartaun meets Faustine, a young French environmentalist. As their relationship renews his belief in a future worth fighting for, Lartaun realizes, albeit too late, that the favor he owes his friend is not so small after all.
FREEDOM COMES AT A STEEP PRICE HOW FAR WOULD YOU GO TO PROTECT YOURS?
They say that a debut author should write about what they know and Delphine Pontvieux has done just that ....... she obviously knows a great deal about rock climbing and the Basque country, and her knowledge shines through as the Pyrenees mountains and climbing them forms an integral part of this fascinating and exciting political thriller based upon the activities of the Separatist Group ETA. The story of their inception and rise without any bias on either side was handled very sensitively as well.
I loved this description (Lartaun is staring at something on the ground while mountain climbing) ----
He was transfixed by the sight of a tiny Rock Jasmine. The frail plant was growing on a miniscule patch of soil encased in a crack between two sheets of rock ........ Whatever miracle had caused this little seed to travel all the way up there and find a piece of earth to call home seemed like a true wonder. It was so ironic and yet made him think about the Basque country. The flower was just like his people, fighting an ongoing battle against all odds so that they could flourish and grow on their small piece of land.
The central characters are the tall, slender and extremely good looking 23 year old Lartaun and the pretty enviromentalist Faustine, 18, "with a gift for reading people's thoughts". They are both incredibly likeable figures and I found their relationship totally believable.
Lartaun is drawn into a world in which he starts to feel uncomfortable with as he has to repay his friend's favour, the suspense is very slowly and skilfully drawn to an exciting conclusion.
This isn't just a tale of political terrorists it is an absorbing thriller showing different sides of people's characters and of how they come to terms with the consequences of their actions, of romance, all the while with a backdrop of the beautiful mountainous scenery which is wonderfully described throughout.
I thought the storyline was strong and the characters were all well-defined with fascinating back stories.
Congratulations to Delphine Pontvieux as she was the recipient of the "2010 French in Chicago Community Award" Oscar in the category "Arts and Culture" for her novel this summer.
MissNyet website is here and I must thank them for sending me this book to review.