An international political thriller, THE RAINBOW VINTNER, is set largely in Bordeaux, France. Morgan Kenworthy, a Berkeley student studying abroad at the University of Bordeaux and a guest of the de Carduzacs, family friends in the wine business, uncovers a coup against the government of France. Soon after she arrives, bombing at the Brassault aviation plant kills several ministers. The investigation, led by General Tolbert, the deputy head of French intelligence and a friend of Joseph de Carduzac, points to jihadists. However, clues unearthed by Morgan suggest that the two blew up the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior in 1985 and committed other nefarious acts while serving President Mitterand. After another explosion, killing most of the cabinet, Tolbert announces that he is in charge. As General Tolbert suspects she knows about the plots, Morgan's life and the life of her lover, Alex, Joseph's stepson, are in danger. Morgan's attempt to leave Europe is thwarted and Alex is captured by the general's thugs. Now the two must rely on their wits, and their friends, for survival until they can convince the French Government who the real criminals are...
With the Charlie Hebdo, Bataclan and other events in France and the rise of the far right throughout Europe, the story is very relevant; I wrote the book while living in Bordeaux over the past few years, partly to bring to light the gravity of the situation as well as to explore some of the historical antecedents to what is happening now in France and across Europe.
Born in Budapest, Hungary, Geza escaped with his family in 1956 during the Hungarian Revolution, emigrating to Canada the same year. He grew up in Toronto, attending the University of Toronto Schools, where he was School Captain. He graduated from Harvard University with a BA in Human Ecology in 1972 (after taking a break in his studies to work as a host in the Ontario Pavilion at Expo’70 in Osaka, Japan). Geza was selected as a Rhodes Scholar from Ontario, attending Oxford University and graduating with a BA/MA in Human Sciences in 1974; he completed his studies with a MSc in Economics from London School of Economics and Politics in 1975. Geza represented Canada as an epée fencer in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.
Geza’s professional experience has included stints in government (Department of Finance, Canada), international organizations (Inter-American Development Bank), commercial / investment banking (Royal Bank of Canada), private equity (MAVA Capital in Hungary) and environmental entrepreneurship (Vertis Environmental Finance). Since 2004, he has been semi-retired, advising a few firms mainly in the clean energy sector and devoting himself to his family, travel and writing. Geza is a citizen of Canada and Hungary, with an American wife, a daughter living in San Francisco and a son in Nairobi, and currently divides his time between San Francisco and Barnard, Vermont, with frequent visits to Montreal, Toronto, New York, Vienna and London.
Geza Tatrallyay has made another fantastic and thrilling novel!
The Rainbow Vintner follows Morgan and Alex on one wild ride in Bordeaux, France. The story of this novel is influenced heavily by recent terror events and puts a brand new lens on these incidences. When Morgan and Alex get caught up in a giant plot against France, will they be able to alive and together?
There's also a lot of politics in this book. It's a political thriller, so it was a given (in my opinion). I like how Geza approach politics and political commentary in his book. I feel like I learn a different view of the world every time I grab one of his novels.
This book felt like Geza wrote it for me - I seriously loved it that much. Combine the fact that Geza always puts something knowledgeable and new in the books (and that lets me learn!), he also has amazing references. The reference to his own book, Twisted Reasons, had me giggling. The world views about terrorism had me intrigued. And, of course, throw in a Beatles reference and I'm an instant fan.
If I had to pick one thing I liked about this book it would be the paranoia. Somehow, Geza makes the paranoia real in this book. Who can be trusted? Should everyone be trusted? Going with my own gut, I ended up having a pretty good guess for what was going to happen (I wasn't entirely accurate though). Watching Morgan question if she should answer any phone calls and if she should change her look made it painstakingly obvious that this book was high stakes. The entire book grew progressively more exciting and built it's way up to the ultimate thrill ride.
If I had to pick one thing I didn't like it would be that it took a while for the book to really get into the action. The initial explanations were needed for this book to move and flow as good as it did, but that was a little con for me.
Side note: There seemed to be a lot of reference to read wine in this book. Like, a clear obsession...
I believe this book would be a solid read for the New Adult or older audience. We followed teenagers in this book, but it felt a little darker than purely YA. A teenager could read it no problem, but it felt like a book written for adults. There are some really rough and unsettling scenes in the book, so reader beware - if you have a light heart or stomach, maybe do a little research into the book first. That being said, it's not as R rated as Twisted Reasons. It felt like a couple steps lower on the rating steps, if you know what I mean.
Overall, I think this book was marvelous! There's lots of thrills, twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat, a splash of romance, and lots of paranoia. It was a really fun ride and I can't wait for Geza to throw more books my way!
Five out of five stars!
I received this book for free from the author, Geza Tetrallyay, in exchange for an honest review.
On 10 July 1985, the flagship of the Greenpeace fleet, "Rainbow Warrior", was on a mission to prevent further nuclear testing by the French government in the South Pacific when it was bombed, in the process killing a Portuguese-Dutch photographer, Fernando Pereira. France initially denied responsibility, but two French intelligence agents were captured by New Zealand Police and charged with arson, conspiracy to commit arson, wilful damage and murder. Fast forward eight years, to 01 May 1993, when defeated Socialist prime minister of France, Pierre Bérégovoy was found dying with a bullet to the head, an apparent suicide. But in the ensuing years the publication of several books raised questions about his death, fuelling speculation that he was murdered. Again, the culprits were thought to be French intelligence agents. At the time of both events, François Mitterand was president and rumours abounded that the intelligence service was acting on his instructions. Into this factual, historical background Geza Tatrallyay has woven his latest novel, "Rainbow Vitner". Morgan Kenworthy, a Berkeley student studying abroad and a guest of the de Carduzac family, owners of a magnificent chateau in St. Émilion, uncovers a coup to bring down the French government. The initial investigation, led by General Tolbert, a friend of Joseph de Carduzac, points to jihadists. However, Morgan finds clues that Joseph and the general may have been involved in the "Rainbow Warrior" fiasco and the death of Bérégovoy when both served in the intelligence service. As bombings, murders and mayhem bring France to its knees, Morgan and her lover, Alex come under suspicion by Tolbert. Morgan tries to escape via Spain to the U.S. but is thwarted, while Alex is captured by Tolbert’s thugs and badly beaten. The two must now rely on their wits and whoever they can find to trust, in order to survive.
One thing you can always count on with author, Geza Tatrallyay is that his stories are well researched. In "Rainbow Vintner" his in-depth knowledge of various jihadist groups, France, its police and intelligence procedures, its former colonies, its politics as well as the historical incidents mentioned above all unite to make an otherwise quite incredible story seem realistic. In the first five chapters, Tatrallyay lures the reader into a false sense of security as he benignly explores each character in the dramatis personae. Then, just as you settle into a quiet, relaxing read there’s a change of pace so dramatic, it rattles the pages and spills your coffee onto the floor: a catastrophic explosion, the assassination of a prominent figure then it’s off to the races. From there on, the book is a page turner with sufficient intrigue to keep you guessing how it is all going to end. All of this in a package so well edited I didn’t notice one error. It would be a crime if "Rainbow Vintner" doesn’t become a bestseller.
Geza Tatrallyay’s The Rainbow Vintner, takes on the specter of Jihadist terrorist violence in France, with drama, intrigue and passion. When US exchange student Morgan Kenworthy uncovers evidence in a bombing plot that points the finger not at radical Muslims but at right-wing members of the French government, it’s anybody’s guess how events will pan out. Can Morgan and her French lover Alex fend off the criminals on their own? To whom can they turn in these times of crisis? This book will feed not only your curiosity but also your appetite as the characters enjoy sumptuous wine and food with every meal. Liberté, égalité, fraternité.
In Geza Tatrallyay’s, Rainbow Vintner, political intrigue and terrorism aren’t the only plot driven aspects of the book. Young and beautiful, American exchange student, Morgan Kenworthy, has taken up studies in France, where she forms a keen interest in a family friend’s son, Alex. Her school mate, Claire, Alex’s sister, is her local guide between the de Carduzac’s family estate, school and other social interest. Introducing her to important members of government, associated with the family, and socially challenging professors, with opposing political ideals, Morgan is swept up in the lavish setting of the Bordeaux region.
When Morgan runs across some interesting photos in the de Carduzac’s office, she begins to put together pieces of a puzzle that lead her into a political triangle. Russians, Jihadist, French right wing activist are all a part of a plot that may take down France, Morgan and Alex with it.
I was surprised by the depth of the characters in this international thriller and pleasantly intrigued by such details of upper class living. The descriptions of food, wine and ambiance was delectable. The author had an artful way of divulging information for the reader through dialogue, so you felt like you were a part of the conversation.
With issues that parallel our own daily news, readers will find themselves dissecting the political subject and categorizing their own passions for moral resolution. Vigilante espionage and a surprising ending that I didn’t see coming.
Morgan Kenworthy, an intrepid Berkeley exchange student studying abroad in France, visits with family friends who are wealthy vintners in Bordeaux. But alarm bells ring when she stumbles upon something strange in a shed on the family’s estate. Shortly thereafter, bodies begin to pile up, those of acquaintances she’s met through the family and perhaps more stunning, those of ministers in the French government.
Tatrallyay’s novel is a political thriller that takes you to Bordeaux, Paris, Spain, and New Zealand, treating you to sumptuous meals complemented by the country’s celebrated wines. But you will also accompany Morgan to the private underground prison of the mastermind who dares to overthrow the French government. Dare to hold on as the author methodically develops a plot that will keep you rapt to the very end and leave you wondering at the factions that vie for control of our own world today.
I like the book, not my usual genre but I do like Geza’s writing and have read several of his books.
I particularly love how at least one character in his stories is reading one of his other titles, it tickles me every time.
In this book the characters are well rounded and believable, the historical facts are meticulously researched and seamlessly woven into the fictional narrative. There is enough suspense and detail without being tedious, and all loose ends are tied up. I can’t see there being a sequel as the story line doesn’t lend itself to a continuation, I may be wrong in my thinking though.
This thriller is a treasure trove of information about French politics, jihadist groups, and Paris geography and cuisine. You'll find a story with twists and unusual, perhaps unbelievable, character actions. Morgan, an American student from Berkeley taking a year of study in France, is our guide. When she is not soaking rays in her topless bikini, eating great food with stellar wine, and sleeping with Alex, Morgan pieces together clues to who is responsible for a massive "terrorist" explosion that kills French ministers. I give it a three-star rating because of the complex plot but did not rate higher because I found this story difficult to get into. There are many characters not much described, long, weighty dialog conveying political history and plotting, and certain character actions that strained my belief. This is a story well worth the read for francophiles who relish political intrigue.
Morgan is a UC-Berkeley student spending her junior year in France where fine wine and scrumptious food are a daily experience. (As an aside, I really enjoyed the descriptions of French dining.) Life is certainly great and interesting and her love life begins to look up. Her only problem is her keen mind and suspicious nature. Little things occur which soon mushroom into a full blown conspiracy theory against some of France’s most prominent citizens. The terrorist bombings are not what they seem, not to Morgan anyway, but who to talk to, and how to convince them lest the republic fall prey to a right wing coup d'etat.
Mr. Tatrallyay has woven here an interesting tail of intrigue, a mixture of mystery and thriller that revolves inexorably around the fineries of French dining and national landmarks. Morgan is a very likable protagonist – beautiful enough to turn French heads and smart enough to give them headaches.
This is a great spy thrilller, with terrorists, and lots of action. It takes place in Paris, France, where a group of young college students take on the bad guys. Check it out for an action packed adventure thriller!