Sunday, April 8, 2012

An Unexpected Guest-Anne Korkeakivi

An Unexpected Guest

Anne Korkeakivi

Little, Brown and Company, Apr 17 2012, $24.99

ISBN: 9780316196772

In Paris, the British ambassador to France is ill with viral pneumonia at a time the permanent under secretary has come to France for a dinner in his honor. British Minister and number two man at the embassy, David Moorhouse informs his American wife of twenty-five years Clare that they will host the dinner for P.U.S. in their home. Without blinking Clare arranges dinner for a party of twelve while her spouse knows she will pull off the gala successfully.

While she is calm on the outside, inside she is a bundle of nerves made worse with the thoughts that their next stop is Ireland. As their younger son Jamie was suspended from boarding school on serious charges that could impact his dad’s diplomatic career, Clare’s Bostonian past has caught up with her when her aunt’s charity case Niall meets her. Before she met her husband, she loved Niall who used her as a mule in his free using any means Northern Ireland movement. An assassination of a highly ranked French official has the gendarmes looking at Niall, but she is his alibi if she comes forth and tells the authorities she saw him when the killing occurred.

This is a super character driven tale that brilliantly contrasts polished high level diplomacy with violent revolutionary fervor. The opposite poles to conflict resolution place Clare in the middle as she struggles with her ethics as to doing the right thing for Niall and David, which in her heart means hurting one of them and especially herself.

Harriet Klausner

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