April 12, 2021

Three Hours in Paris


2020 Recorded Books, Inc.
Read by Elisabeth Rodgers
Finished on April 8, 2021
Rating: 1/5 (Poor)

Publisher's Blurb:

In June of 1940, when Paris fell to the Nazis, Hitler spent a total of three hours in the City of Light—abruptly leaving, never to return. To this day, no one knows why.

The New York Times bestselling author of the Aimée Leduc investigations reimagines history in her masterful, pulse-pounding spy thriller, Three Hours in Paris.

Kate Rees, a young American markswoman, has been recruited by British intelligence to drop into Paris with a dangerous assignment: assassinate the Führer. Wrecked by grief after a Luftwaffe bombing killed her husband and infant daughter, she is armed with a rifle, a vendetta, and a fierce resolve. But other than rushed and rudimentary instruction, she has no formal spy training. Thrust into the red-hot center of the war, a country girl from rural Oregon finds herself holding the fate of the world in her hands. When Kate misses her mark and the plan unravels, Kate is on the run for her life—all the time wrestling with the suspicion that the whole operation was a set-up.

Cara Black, doyenne of the Parisian crime novel, is at her best as she brings Occupation-era France to vivid life in this gripping story about one young woman with the temerity—and drive—to take on Hitler himself.

I'm not sure what it is about an audiobook that keeps me listening long after I've decided I don't care for it. I can only guess that I listen while doing other things (walking, folding laundry, running errands or pulling weeds), so I'm a little more tolerant and optimistic, hoping the story might improve. I also hate to ditch a book after investing several hours of my time, but I do quit when it's a print book that's failing to entertain, so why not an audio? You'd think I wouldn't want to waste any more of my time. 

I haven't read any other books by Cara Black, but Three Hours in Paris is far-fetched and, at times, tedious and repetitive. We learn early on that Kate Rees is a country girl from Oregon. The author doesn't let us forget that fact, bringing it to our attention repeatedly and unnecessarily. Those details do nothing to add to Kate's character or move the plot along. We are also reminded on numerous occasions of her special training and instructions. RADA: Read, access, decide, act. Got it. Got it the first, second and third time and didn't need to be reminded over and over.

I also struggled with Kate's extraordinary ability to escape capture on multiple occasions, which brought to mind the character of Marius Josipovic in Sneaky Pete. While Marius is clever and cunning, Kate is simply unbelievably lucky. I didn't buy it. 

Finally, I was not impressed with the reader of this audiobook. She was either flat and monotone or too melodramatic (or unauthentic), particularly when she spoke the untranslated French passages.

I enjoy books about World War II, but this was a big miss. Do I dare try any of her Aimee Leduc books?

I received a complimentary copy from Libro.fm.


  1. Oh too bad Les. The narrator is so important to overall enjoyment of an audiobook. In 2012 or 2013 I read (print) of The Night Circus, which I loved back then and, now my book group is reading it so I got the audio as a refresher. It's read by Jim Dale, who narrated all of the Harry Potter books and I'm in my glory! He is so fantastic.

    1. Diane, I agree! I listened to The Night Circus and loved Jim Dale's narration! He is amazing. Take a look at my review here and you can see a YouTube video of Dale reading a sample of the book.

  2. I have read a book by Cara Black but it was one of her Aimee Leduc books and I didn't like it at all. I can't even really say what I didn't like about it now as it's been several years but it was such a disappointment. I keep thinking I'm missing out since her books are often highly praised.

    1. Iliana, I'm glad to know it's not just me! I think I'll skip more by this author.

  3. Repetitive narratives can be tough to get through especially when the plot stretches its believability ... It seems like a skip for the series, sadly. But it seems I should try The Night Circus audio. thanks!

    1. Susan, I doubt I'll read more by this author. But, yes!! Do listen to The Night Circus. It's a little confusing in the beginning, but it's such an imaginative story and Jim Dale is great!

  4. I'm much more likely to give up on an audiobook than a print book! Ha! If I'm walking or something and I don't have another option, I'll listen until I get home but as soon as I do, I download something different. Some narrators just rub me the wrong way and I can't tolerate listening to them. Or, rarely, I'll listen to nonfiction and decide that I'm not absorbing it as well as I'd like and switch out for a print version. I read print faster than I listen to audio so I think it's about the time commitment for me.

    Sorry this didn't work out for you. Repetitive information drives me crazy, especially on audio.

    1. Jen, I usually give a print book about 80 pages before I decide whether it's working for me or not. I wonder how many minutes of listening that would equate to. I'll have to test it out on a book for which I have both print and audio. Might be kind of an interesting little test.


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