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Turncoat

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  149 ratings  ·  18 reviews
It begins with the appearance of a stranger at his door -- an unwelcome visitor ranting madly about money, death, and forgiveness; a man known all too well to Pete's distraught wife, Lily: her father. The next day the man is dead -- and Lily disappears, leaving a note behind begging Pete not to follow. Now, with a business card from an antiques dealer in Barcelona as his o ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published April 29th 2003 by HarperTorch (first published 2002)
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Lewis Weinstein
Elkins has written a quite good mystery story. Also, the locations - mainland France & Corsica - are well presented. But the real strength of the book is the powerful description of what it was like in post-war France, as the resistance fighters sought revenge from those they defined as collaborators. The choices, or lack thereof, that French people had when confronted with lethal Nazi terror, offered insight into what it must have been to live under Nazi occupation. Not as bad as Auschwitz, ...more
Marilou
I love Aaron Elkins. His writing is so descriptive but not dry or boring. Not a lot of external action, just enough, but a good amount of inner dialogue from the main character. He's an easy read, very informative and instructive but his characters are charming and believable. Just an enjoyable read I could not put down...recommended to WWII fans, French Resistance fans, Nazi vs Allie...
Cat.
Not one of the series titles, this one is about the impact of World War II on the French, and takes place in the mid-1960s. Pretty good mystery.
Eva
Nearly twenty years after WWII ended, history professor Pete Simon discovers his distraught wife yelling at a stranger on their doorstep. Only the stranger is Lily Simon's father, who according to her had been shot and killed by the Nazis in France. When her father is beaten to death and his wife disappears, Pete slowly takes a long journey to discover the truth. It takes him to Spain to find his father-in-law's business partner, to France to learn about collaboration and long-held grudges, and ...more
james
This story starts in 1963 Brooklyn, when a mild-mannered history professor answers a knock on his door. It's an old man ranting & yelling in barely understandable English. The professor's French-born wife tells the old man to leave and pushes him away and slams the door. The next day the police arrive and tell the prof & wife that the old guy is dead, having been murdered. The old man is the father of the wife and the story leads back to France, where the past suddenly becomes alive. It ...more
Gail
Dec 28, 2013 Gail added it
Shelves: kindle, mysteries
This is not one of Elkins usual books. It is a stand-alone rather than one of his series.
Pete and Lily have had a good marriage ever since they met shortly after WWII, nearly 20 years ago. This all changes when Lily's father, whom Pete thought was dead, shows up at their doorstep and is later murdered. After Lily leaves him, Pete begins his search to find out his wife's real past in France during WWII. This, of course leads to more murder and adventures.
Like other of Elkins' books, this is more
...more
Nancy
I enjoy Elkins's Chris Norgren novels and his Oliver Giddens novels. I also like the golf-themed novels he co-authored with his wife. Turncoat was an entirely different matter!

The publishing date on the book is 2006, but I wonder if this book wasn't an early manuscript that lay around in a drawer for 45 years.

The first 3/4 of the book were interesting, but the final third was melodramatic, silly and predictable. I finished the book, but it was a struggle.
Kathy Cloutier
This was a good historical mystery. I plan to read more by this author.
Scott
Good story that I enjoyed listening to while driving to work.
Bailey Olfert
I don't read many mysteries, but this mystery-lite is a good match for me. The writing is good, keeping me hooked, weaving in bits of history without getting dull. The characters are likeable, and largely believable.
Kathy
I'd go 2.5 if I could. Pete Simmons is a stereotypical mild college professor. Right after JFK is assassinated, Pete's wife's Father shows up on their doorstep spewing nonsense. Everything Pete thought he knew about his wife is turned upside down - she told him her Father was killed in France during WWII. When his wife goes on the lam, he decides to track her down.

What follows is an interesting lesson on life under Nazi rule, collaboration and the very real effects on the people in France. That
...more
Diana Biggs
Good quick read, twisty plot that got a little convoluted.
Ruthanne
Another Nazi story. I think I liked Loot better, although Loot was gorier - more people beat up in that one if I have my stories straight...
Carrie
Not a superlative example of the suspense/thriller genre. However, very interesting stuff on French collaboration during WW2.
Jandblock
Very good story set in the '60's with flashbacks to WWII in France. Liked it a lot, like the author.
Beth
This was okay, but I prefer the "skeleton detective" series.
Gary Barrentine
An interesting piece about the years in France after WWII.
Betty
Nov 09, 2008 Betty marked it as to-read
Not a Gideon Oliver or Chris Norgren series book
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Aaron J. Elkins AKA Aaron Elkins (born Brooklyn July 24, 1935) is an American mystery writer. He is best known for his series of novels featuring forensic anthropologist Gideon Oliver—the 'skeleton detective'. The fourth Oliver book, Old Bones, received the 1988 Edgar Award for Best Novel. As Oliver is a world-renowned authority, he travels around the world and each book is set in a different and ...more
More about Aaron Elkins...
Fellowship of Fear (Gideon Oliver, #1) Old Bones (Gideon Oliver, #4) The Dark Place (Gideon Oliver, #2) Curses! (Gideon Oliver, #5) Dead Men's Hearts (Gideon Oliver, #8)

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