The Woman in the Fifth

The Woman in the Fifth

Book - 2008
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Harry Ricks is a man who has lost everything. A romantic mistake at the small American college where he used to teach has cost him his job, his marriage and his relationship with his only child. And when the ensuing scandal threatens to completely destroy him, he votes with his feet and flees... to Paris.

He arrives in the French capital in the bleak midwinter, where a series of accidental encounters lands him in a grubby room in a grubby quarter, and a job as a nightwatchman for a sinister operation.

Just when Harry begins to think that he has hit rock bottom, romance enters his life. Her name is Margit - an elegant, cultivated Hungarian émigré, long resident in Paris - widowed and, like Harry, alone.

But though Harry is soon smitten with her, Margit keeps her distance. She will only see him at her apartment in the fifth arrondissement for a few hours twice a week, and remains guarded about her work, her past, her life.

However, Harry's frustrations with her reticence are soon overshadowed by a ever-growing preoccupation that a dark force is at work in his life - as punishment begins to be meted out to anyone who has recently done him wrong. Before he knows it, he finds himself of increasing interest to the police and waking up in a nightmare from which there is no easy escape.

Publisher: London : Arrow Books, 2008, c2007.
ISBN: 9780099519584
Characteristics: 422 p. ;,18 cm.


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lilylib Oct 23, 2013

It was a very strange reading for me. I really loved his The Pursuit of Happiness, so I guess I expected something of a similar quality. Not only the pace of the story didn't pick up until way past the middle of it, it also had this weird fantasy twist, which was a total absurd (at least, for my taste). And all this nonsense has ended very weakly. Maybe, it's just not my book...

BakerStreetIrregular May 04, 2012

I struggled getting into this book but was determined to persevere and finish it. Unfortunately I gave up half-way through. The story-line just never picked up and reading about the main character's life was plain depressing. Not even the setting of Paris could make this book interesting.

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