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Kendal in Cannes

   Carambola (Little, Brown, 1961) is set into motion after American mining engineer Andy Holland observes a young woman in a bikini participating in a beauty pageant on the beach in Cannes. He is struck by how much she resembles his ex-wife, who had left him eighteen years previously. The young woman, Micaela, turns out to be the teenaged daughter he never knew he had. In reacquainting himself with the girl’s mother, Marsha, Holland soon finds himself committed to rescuing Marsha’s husband—and the only man Micaela knows as a father—Harry Magill. Holland’s task is to find Magill in Barcelona, where he is hiding out from a trumped-up murder charge, and smuggle him back to France. The trip takes them over the Pyrénées in a race to reach the French border before the Spanish authorities catch up to them. After vicariously experiencing this harrowing journey through the mountains, the reader is relieved to delight in Dodge’s description of the sweeping grandeur of the French coast.

Below the balcony a bright double strand of lights outlining the esplanade swung in a long swoop between casino and casino around the curve of the beach where [Holland] had first seen … Micaela. The loop of lights was like a necklace against the darkness of the Mediterranean.

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