Review by Anne Carlisle
DUVAL AND THE INFERNAL MACHINE by Michele McGrath
A Fast Five Star Read!
I became an instant fan of Michele McGrath when I gobbled this book at one sitting. It is a historical romance blended with suspenseful police action set in post-Revolutionary France, and a thumping good read! It would make a terrific movie. All the characters are multi-dimensional, even the cameos, such as the feared Minister of Police, a Jacobin regicide. I'm totally hooked by the unassuming hero and first person narrator, an injured French soldier returning from service in Germany with only a letter of reference to secure his future. Alain Duval's mother is dead and he is estranged from his father. Duval longs to be away from the violence and putrid smell of Paris, but because of a connection, he gains a position as a Ministry agent, a job he manages with courage, common sense, and generosity. He soon finds himself at the center of a high-profile case. The Infernal Machine, which is how Parisians describe the primitive bomb that barely missed killing Napoleon en-route to the Opera, has left few traces, which are the focus of a carefully executed hunt. The pace escalates into nail-biting action and a deadly confrontation, followed by the enticing prospect of romance for our hero . Meanwhile, as Duval's efforts bring him closer to rounding up all the ringleaders in the Royalist plot, a friend is turning out to be different from how he appeared. New adventures unfold. Michele McGrath knows how to tell a great story, from beginning to end!