The Paris Lawyer by Sylvie GranotierMy rating: Thriller
Translated from the French, The Paris Lawyer is the story of Catherine, an ambitious young lawyer with a troubled childhood. After she witnessed her mother's brutal murder as a toddler, Catherine's father has encouraged her to leave the past behind, but that proves easier said than done when her first big trial takes her back to the area where she was born. Flashes of memory keep taking her back to that fateful day, interfering with her ability to concentrate on her case, and fueling her desire for answers.
Catherine is the archetype of a damaged young woman, struggling to make sense of her life. I really wanted her to succeed - at uncovering the secrets of her past, as well as with her trial - but it soon became painfully obvious that, one way or another, the outcome wasn't going to be a happy one. The supporting characters were a mixed bag, although none of Catherine's relationships seem to run smoothly, whether she's awkwardly reaching out to her father, flitting between unsatisfactory lovers, or fighting to build trust with the murder suspect she's due to defend.
Although the storyline was intriguing, this wasn't the easiest book to read. The narrative frequently switches perspective, often in the middle of a scene, sometimes even hopping from one end of a telephone conversation to the other in a somewhat dizzying manner. Given that Catherine's personal development is the common thread uniting two otherwise unrelated plots, it felt a bit strange to spend so much time focusing on other characters. However, this was overall a solid and interesting read, and I would certainly consider reading more by this author.