Saturday, April 16, 2011

Book Review - A World I Never Made by James LePore

Title: A World I Never Made  
Author: James LePore
Year: 2009
Page: 288
Genre: Fiction - Suspense / Murder / Mystery / Thriller

FTC Disclosure: I was contacted by Pump Up Your Book. I received a free copy in exchanged for an unbiased review.

Summary (from
Pat Nolan, an American man, is summoned to Paris to claim the body of his estranged daughter Megan, who has committed suicide. The body, however, is not Megan's and it becomes instantly clear to Pat that Megan staged this, that she is in serious trouble, and that she is calling to him for help.

This sends Pat on an odyssey that stretches across France and into the Czech Republic and that makes him the target of both the French police and a band of international terrorists. Joining Pat on his search is Catherine Laurence, a beautiful but tormented Paris detective who sees in Pat something she never thought she'd find-genuine passion and desperate need. As they look for Megan, they come closer to each other's souls and discover love when both had long given up on it.

Juxtaposed against this story is Megan's story. A freelance journalist, Megan is in Morocco to do research when she meets Abdel Lahani, a Saudi businessman. They begin a torrid affair, a game Megan has played often and well in her adult life. But what she discovers about Lahani puts her in the center of a different kind of game, one with rules she can barely comprehend. Because of her relationship with Lahani, Megan has made some considerable enemies. And she has put the lives of many-maybe even millions-at risk.

A World I Never Made is an atmospheric novel of suspense with brilliantly drawn characters and back-stories as compelling as the plot itself. It is the kind of novel that resonates deeply and leaves its traces long after you turn the final page.

First Sentence:
Dad, I don't own you or anybody an explanation, but I think you'll appreciate the irony of a suicide note coming from a person who has abhorred tradition all of her life.

My Thoughts:

Why this book?
  • Murder / mystery / thriller / suspense has always been one of my favorite genre. I have been reading  less of this genre lately (used to be 99% of what I read). I am always on the look out of authors I haven't read before. The premise sounded interesting so I thought I'd give it a try. 
First thought:
  • Not bad for a debut.
Cover Art:
  • Not too memorable but fitted well with the story.
  • I liked it fine enough.
  •  Easy to read
  • Started off promising, but then it got predictable. I was able to guessed most major plot lines. That's the bad side of having read a lot of books in this genre... after a while it became easy to guess who-dunnit.
  • There was also a slight supernatural element in the story that I didn't know how I felt about it. It played a role in the plot but in the end it made you wonder why this detail was incorporated into the story?
  • Pat Nolan, the father, and Catherine Laurence, the Paris detective, were likable enough characters but I didn't feel attached to them.
  • Megan Nolan, Pat's daughter, was probably a character I liked least... can't go into too much without giving too much away.
  • I found that the minor characters were more interesting and wished they played a bigger role, such as Catherine's uncle, the friends who helped Megan out
  • Okay ending - wasn't mind-blowing (like the Six Sense) but also didn't make me felt like I wasted my time reading it
  • Felt a bit like a TV movie as I was reading the book
What I Learned:
  • Gypsies were mentioned in the book, and upon finishing it, made me want to learn more about them!  

Read this Author again?

  • Maybe. Depend on the premise. Not bad as a first book, but I hope the author's future books would have more twists

Overall Rating:
3 Stars. Not a bad first effort.

All reviews and posts are copyrighted by Christa @ Mental Foodie. Please do not use or reprint them without written permission.


  1. I just started Blood of my Brother by this author, will be interesting on what I think.

    I want to try new mystery/thriller authors this year also.

  2. I was given the choice between this and Blood of my Brother. I decided on this one because the premise sounded a bit more interesting to me plus I thought I'd go with the first book first even though it is not a series. Can't wait to hear what you think of the Blood of my Brother!

    Isn't it so fun when we "discover" a new author? Especially if that author has other books already published so you can go and read everything else written by her/him!