Chasing Mona Lisa by Mike Yorkey & Tricia Goyer is the sequel to The Swiss Courier about Gabi Mueller, a Swiss-American woman working behind the scenes in WWII to help the Allies save the day. This novel picks up shortly after the events of the previous book with Gabi and her boyfriend Eric traveling to Paris to bring first aid supplies and aid to the Resistance fighters in the city. Paris is on the crux of exploding as the Germans refuse to let go of the city that is slipping out of their fingers, and the Parisians who have been under boche control for four years are ready to shake the yoke of oppression no matter the cost. Gabi and Eric arrive just at the most dangerous moment and are quickly taken under the wing of Bernard Rousseu, a resistance fighter for the Communist party. Gabi discovers some papers that make Bernard question the loyalty of his girlfriend, Collette, who is in charge of keeping the Mona Lisa out of the hands of the Nazis. When a plot is discovered to steal the famed painting, Gabi, Eric, Bernard, and Collette are on the chase of their lives to keep it out of Nazi hands, even though some of their motives may be different than what they appear. The authors include lots of fascinating history that will keep readers enthralled. I've never heard the stories about Occupied Paris, and they portray a city on the edge very well. I wish the story had remained there. There were some unbelievable elements that made me feel like the authors used Deus ex Machina a bit too much. A too convenient notebook and a bait-and-switch that many readers will find hard to swallow. Bernard's communism is portrayed as idealistic and he as a hero, so when he changes sides, I kept waiting for him to come to his senses. It just didn't make sense based on what the writers had displayed in him as a character. There is also a lot of shocking violence here, especially a death with garden shears, and a stomach-churning threat against a small child. This violence seemed out of place with the rest of the novel, especially when perpetrated by the good guys! This novel isn't of the same quality as The Swiss Courier when the characters leave Paris, but when they are in the City of Lights, the story truly shined.
It's August of 1944 and Paris is on the verge of being liberated from the Nazi's. They have been under their control for about 4 years and have endured torture and bribery. Everyone thinks that once the war ends, France will be united once again. However, with the liberation of France comes who is going to be in power. There is a group of communist who would love to take control, but how can they convince the French to begin thinking like them?
As the Germans see the end of the war approaching, they quickly take priceless pieces of art. However, the Mona Lisa has been moved to a safe place so it wouldn't fall into the hands of the Germans. Reichsmarschall Hermann Goring knows the end of the Third Reich is near and feels that he needs a bargaining chip to secure his fortune and life once the war is over. He's determined to get his hands on the Mona Lisa and will stop at nothing, to get it. Not even a little girl would be spared if he and his helpers had their way.
Gabi and Eric are Swiss OSS agents and have arrived in France as Paris was being liberated. They are given a new task once they reach Paris: secure the Mona Lisa before the Germans can get to it. A variety of circumstances hold them up as they are driving to the Swiss chateau. Will they make it in time to save the Mona Lisa? Who must give up their lives in order for the Mona Lisa to be saved? Will it ever return to her home at the Louvre?
This book was so action packed that I had difficulty putting it down. I stayed up way too late to finish this book! I don't think that I would have normally picked up this book to read on my own but I'm so thankful that I did. It's packed with history and facts that I never knew about the Mona Lisa and France. This is a book that will definitely be recommended to people over the next few months. It is the most exciting book I've read in a while! I actually had no clue how the end would turn out because there were so many twists and turns that I did not expect to occur. I'm going to have to check out their first book that they wrote together now.
Available January 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group
I received this book free from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, in exchange for my honest opinion of this book.
Chasing Mona Lisa, by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey, is set in 1944 Europe. Two Swiss agents are fighting to save the world's most famous painting from the hands of the Nazis.
If this sounds like an adventure book, that would be "right on." The very first chapter starts off with high drama and continues every other page almost the whole way through. Lots of heart palpitations for the reader (!!!), but this isa book that is hard to set aside, as one must know what is going to happen nextâ€”and hope for resolution!
The setting is France, mainly Paris, at the very close of World War II, a highly dramatic time for the people of France who have been held hostage by Germans for four years. Emotions are riding high, especially at The Louvre, home of many, many very famous and valuable paintings, and one, especially, the Mona Lisa (La Joconde). During the War, many of the paintings have been "stolen" by high ranking Germans (Hermann Goring) who had an insatiable appetite for such works of art, understanding their beauty and, obviously, their great value. Other works have been hidden away in various parts of the country.
Numerous spies, differing political views, atrocities known to all wars, amazing rides across the French countryside, and accounts of personal dealings with many recognizable historical names from that era, are only some of the events recounted in this story.
From a historical point-of-view, Chasing Mona Lisa is a great way to learn what was going on with the European side of World War II; the background story of Mona Lisa's history is obviously true and told in great detail, so it is an eye-opener in many ways. It seems to be a realistic view of what was going on in Paris during a two-week period in August 1944 and a very accurate accounting of what was going on for people caught up in a war which they could only barely survive using their own skills and the depths of their own spirit.
There are many surprises in this novel, which continue to the very end. There is never a dull moment and even timid readers of violent events will be assured a "good read." It is a worthwhile read and a learning experience, as well as entertainment!
It was so good to go along on an adventure with Eric and Gabi again. Tricia and Mike have come up with another adrenalin fueled story.
I romped through the French Resistance and celebrated the liberation with these two. And that was just the beginning.
Then the chase was on to recover the elusive Mona Lisa. Who will come out on top? The Germans? The Swiss? The French?
There's a twist or two at the end - one of which I didn't see coming. Don't bother trying to read the last of the story first. You need to read from the beginning in order to really be able to understand and appreciate the end.
Chasing Mona Lisa by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey is a dramatic story set in France and Switzerland near the end of World War II. Swiss OSS agents Gabi Mueller and Eric Hofstadler are caught up in an adventure to protect one of France's national treasures -- Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Bernard Rousseau and Collette Perriard each have their own personal reasons for being involved in the chase as well.
During Nazi rule of France, many art treasures were purchased or stolen and placed in the private collections of those with money and power. Other pieces were protected and hidden by loyal French citizens, with plans to return them to their rightful "homes" when it was safe to do so. As the liberation of France approaches, clashes between nations and between competing factions within the home country put the future of da Vinci's masterpience in danger. The story is filled with danger, intrigue, and romance as the race is on to see who will finally get their hands on La Joconde, as she is known in French.
Chasing Mona Lisa is apparently a sequel to The Swiss Courier. There are a few references in the story that might have been more meaningful if I had read the previous book, but I found no problem in reading it as a stand alone. The story is full of fascinating historical facts and names, interwoven with the fictitious events. At times, I had a little trouble keeping up with "who's who" in the various groups. That confusion and the large amount of historical information sometimes got in the way of the story; but mostly it fit in with the suspense of finding out who were the "good guys" and the "bad guys" in the story.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys an intriguing mystery and has any interest in the time period of World War II. If it is a good example of the writing of these authors, I would certainly enjoy reading more of their work.
Available January 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
This book was provided free for my honest review from Revell.