The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure is a World War Two novel which I found captivating. Published in 2013, I came across this book while perusing the library shelves for books on my lengthy to-read list. This book was not on the list, but I am grateful to have stumbled upon it because I think it is terrific!
The suspenseful story takes place during the Nazi occupation of Paris. Its focus is on an out of work architect who accepts a commission to design a building for the Nazis which will be used to manufacture armaments for the Reich. In order to obtain the work and much needed income, he also agrees to design a hiding place for a Jewish man who’s wanted by the Nazis. Obviously the projects are at cross purposes, but in order to win the factory commission, he must agree to design the hiding place. A wealthy Frenchman is the person making him the offer. The architect Lucien isn’t at all interested in saving Jews, but his overwhelming desire to practice his craft leads him to accept the offer.
One thing leads to another and this page turner finds Lucien more deeply entangled than he ever imagined in the French resistance and ever closer to the Gestapo’s hunt for the man who is designing ingenious hiding places for Jewish refugees.
I read this book non-stop — even held my breath and gasped through a large portion of it. It’s an incredible story. Parts of the it are gruesome because they describe torture so prepare youself. Still in all, I loved this novel.