Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Babylon Nights-Daniel Depp

Babylon Nights
Daniel Depp
Simon and Schuster, Aug 3 2010, $24.00
ISBN: 9781439101469

Vincent Perec stalks former A-list actress Anna Mayhew. Although she is nearly forty and out of the limelight for over a decade with no parts in years, Perec is fascinated by her, dedicating a room in her honor. His mother is a critical observer of her son’s obsession; so he kills her. He writes what he did to his mom and what he plans to do to his infatuation

Anna’s sister Pam hires investigator and bodyguard David Spandau to keep her sibling safe especially when they attend Cannes. Anna is a judge at the renowned film festival. David and Anna are attracted to one another, but he fears acting on his desire because he knows what happens to women he loves (see Loser’s Town). Perec arrives with plans that involve several crimes. Soon the parties will collide in a confrontation that makes real life more perilous than the movies.

This is a gritty thriller as much of the cast seems shallow and selfish yet seems more like Mother Theresa compared with Perec. Anna is a has-been in her mind with hopes that Cannes reignites her dead career before she does something harsh to herself to regain the limelight. Spandau is not afraid of a duel with Perec but fears telling Anna how he feels about her. Perec is a stereotypical psychopath, but makes the tale work as he comes to the French Riviera not to attend the film festival but to attend to his woman.

Harriet Klausner

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