A French Affair is a fast-paced thriller which contains all of the prerequisites of the genre; danger, suspense, mystery and spies. But this thriller offers much more, including the emotional development of a sensitive young heroine recovering from the double blow of her mother's death and an unexpected divorce.
Moira (or Moe to her friends) is feeling shaken after her boring husband's announcement that he prefers his busty dental hygienist to her. She goes off to visit her father in Paris, with mixed emotions. He never paid much attention to her during her childhood, but now she really needs him. Her hopes are dashed when her father is found dead in his car.
Strangers keep calling her father's apartment and she discovers a large package of cash in his car. The chase is on and Moira is the target. The plot moves from one hair-raising event to the next. Moira ultimately learns that her father had been an Israeli intelligence agent trying to prevent the sale of poisonous chemicals to Iran. While Moira mourns the lost opportunity to bond with her father, she discovers that she has matured and can now take control of her life.
But what is a good thriller without romance? Mysterious Dan keeps showing up just at the right moment to save Moira from her foes. It turns out that Dan is an Israeli agent, too. The novel ends with Dan paying Moira a visit at her father's house in a wealthy suburb of Tel Aviv. French kisses are in order, perhaps even more.
An exciting thriller... This is one of the most touching books I have read lately.
It would be a mistake to read A French Affair only as a thriller. Harel added another layer of plot, and ultimately (or perhaps primarily) this is a novel of wandering. Wandering of the soul... The heroine's metaphoric footsteps drum on the tin roof of the plot.
Poet Ronny Someck, Moznayim