St. Martin's, Nov 2003, 24.95, 320 pp.
In a family of overachievers, he was considered the only African-American in his generation not living up to his potential. For instance, his cousin Cash grew up to become an internationally renowned surgeon whose income was in the seven figure range. When Ricky Jenks was jilted at the altar because his bride ran away with Cash, he left America for a job playing piano in a quaint Parisian Bistro.
After living there for nine years, his cousin Cash begs him to find his wife who walked out on him. Cash believes she's in Paris but when Selena meets Ricky, her face is black and blue from the beating her husband gave her. Rickey confronts his cousin who shows him the knife wound Serena gave him after he found out she was once a high priced call girl pimped by her twin brother. Besides the marital fiasco, Rickey becomes entangled with unsavory people including the bodyguards of Serena's brother and Cash. Then there is a policeman asking why his keys were on the body of a murdered prostitute in his building.
RENDEZVOUS EIGHTEENTH is a refreshingly different and totally enthralling thriller. Readers will finish the book in one sitting because they need to know what motivates the various antagonists. In the middle of all this drama, Ricky barely copes with his pregnant girlfriend, who he loves. She refuses to marry him because he isn't a Muslim. Inside the action, Jake Lamar gives his audience the experience of the African-American expatriate life style in 1990's Paris with a brilliant visual display that forms a panorama in the reader's mind.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner