November 1989: Aimée Leduc is in her first year of college at Paris's preeminent medical school. She lives in a 17th-century apartment that overlooks the Seine with her father, who runs the family detective agency. But the week the Berlin Wall crumbles, so does Aimée's life as she knows it.
@00000327@@00000327@A murder in wartime Switzerland reveals Swiss complicity with the Nazis in World War II, and US Army detective Billy Boyle is called to investigate.@00000133@@00000341@@00000341@@00000133@Europe, 1944: Captain Billy Boyle and his friend Lieutenant Piotr @00000041@ldquo;Kaz@00000041@rdquo; Kazimierz are sent to neutral Switzerland to work with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), investigating Swiss banks that are laundering looted Nazi gold. The US and Swiss governments are about to embark on diplomatic discussions regarding the Safehaven Protocols, aimed at limiting the amount of war materials exported by Switzerland to the Nazis, stemming the tide of looted gold, and preventing postwar use of Nazi wealth by war criminals. With the talks about to begin and the Gestapo ever present, the OSS wants Billy and Kaz to protect the participants, which turns out to be a very deadly task.@00000341@@00000341@The plans go wrong from the beginning when Billy and Kaz crashland in France. As they make their way through occupied territory to the border, they meet Anton Lasho, a member of the Sinti ethnic group, whose family was slaughtered by the Nazis, and who is, in turn, a one-man Nazi-killing machine. They@00000065@ll need his help, because as they find once they make it across the border, Swiss banks are openly laundering gold @00000041@ldquo;harvested@00000041@rdquo; from concentration camps, and those who are profiting will do everything they can to protect their wealth and hide their dark secrets.
In a novel spanning two cultures and two centuries, New York Times bestselling author Samira Ahmed explores the timeless struggle for equality and identity through dueling narratives--that of a Muslim-American teenager obsessed with a 19th century art world mystery, and the enigmatic figure at the mysterys heart. Its August in Paris, but 17-year-old Khayyam--American, Desi, Muslim, the only child of Chicago-based academics with a summer apartment on the Ile de la Cite --is at a crossroads. Uncertain of her relationship with Zaid, the boy back home, she cant hold on to the past. Stung by her dream colleges rejection of the essay she wrote to apply early, she doesnt see a clear future. Khayyam is alone in her belief that the mysterious raven-tressed lady in the poems of Alexandre Dumas not only inspired the paintings of Eugène Delacroix, they were based on a real person named Leila. A chance encounter with a descendant of Alexandre Dumas plunges Khayyam back into her research and the hunt for the truth. Interstitials offer a tantalizing glimpse of Leilas life as it could have been--defined by a high-wire balance of privileged status, servitude, and survival as a Muslim woman subject to European patriarchy and colonialism. As the stakes rise for both, Khayyam and Leila must ultimately wrestle with desires and expectations outside of their control to determine their own fates.
Paris, April 1999: Aimée Leduc has her work cut out for her-running her detective agency and fighting off sleep deprivation as she tries to be a good single mother to her new bébé. The last thing she has time for now is to take on a personal investigation for a poor manouche (Gypsy) boy. But he insists his dying mother has an important secret she needs to tell Aimée, something to do with Aimée's father's unsolved murder a decade ago.
A long-lost Modigliani portrait, a grieving brother's blood vendetta, a Soviet secret that's been buried for 80 years-Parisian private investigator Aimée Leduc's current case is her most exciting one yet.