Fata Morgana

Fata Morgana

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Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 120 x 180mm
  • Random House Children's Publishers UK
  • Corgi Childrens
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0552108979
  • 9780552108973

Review Text

This time Kotzwinkle's lyrical star twinkles - ultraviolet and infrared - above Second Empire Paris, where Inspector Paul Picard, disgraced after his near-fatal bungling of an arrest, is put on a con-artist case, small-potatoes. Or is it? Ric Lazare's salon attracts the choicest billfolds, poitrines, and pedigrees in France; they come for the glitz, for Mme. Lazare's decolletage, but, above all, for Ric's fortune-telling machine: a toy telegraph that never errs. The machine certainly isn't fooled by Picard's favorite alias (M. Fanjoy the pearl merchant) and taps out his fortune - "Paul Picard - The Spy Will Die." The inspector is spurred into fevered action; he will bring down la maison Lazare by exposing Ric's molto misterioso past! So: to Vienna, Nuremberg, Budapest, a valley called Deep Sorrow, and the ghost towns of Transylvania, places that yield information about genius toymakers, about toys that are complex, deadly, and sometimes pornographic ("Miss Schmidt and the Delivery Boy"), about a mirage called Fata Morgana, and about the constellation of deaths that has brightened Ric Lazare's path. Armed with awareness, Picard returns to Paris for the showdown with Ric, a showdown that is only half of Kotzwinkle's double-whammy denouement. If neither this payoff nor the plottings that set it up are particularly fresh (you may flash back to an old Lionel Barrymore movie), the narrative economies - whimsical, delicately ghoulish, and genuinely erotic - will clear the air and then turn it green. "The mood of the building was casual; the gentlemen practiced knife-throwing in the halls." Yes. (Kirkus Reviews)show more