Shaping the finale of Last Stop: Paris

End of the line - the bank of the Seine, with Île Saint-Louis in the background
End of the line – the bank of the Seine, with Île Saint-Louis in the background

TWO YEARS AGO, when I had hardly started the writing of Last Stop: Paris, I was casting about for a good location to set the climactic, resolving scene. I needed a crowded urban site (not hard to find in Paris) where I could set a car chase that ended in the Seine. At the time I wasn’t sure that’s how the book would end, but it made more and more sense as I worked through the writing and revision of the manuscript.

Île Saint-Louis has long been one of my favorite walking haunts, even though it’s very crowded during during tourist season. The architecture is marvelous and historic, the shops are fun if not practical, and there are more than enough places to stop for a coffee or an ice cream, as my character Jeremy Bentham says in the opening chapter.

So the Île it would be. Starting the scene there would bring a certain roundness and sense of completion to the story because the first scene is set there as well. So, after hours of pacing its streets and quais, in the summer of 2014 I found my site.

I make a lot of photos of Paris, especially the parts that seem like they’d be good “characters” in a novel. Actually, that describes pretty much all of Paris, which is why I have thousands of JPGs stored in the Google cloud.

These are some of the photos I used in constructing that last scene.

Shoppers enjoying the day when a pistol came sailing out of a car window
Shoppers strolling on the sidewalk when a pistol came sailing out of a car window

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eddie's near-miss when Khan was merging onto the Pompidou Expressway
Eddie’s near-miss when Khan was merging onto the Pompidou Expressway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The chase led around the City Hall, then down to the Pompidou Expressway
The chase led around the City Hall, then down to the Pompidou Expressway

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last Stop: Paris is the sequel to Treasure of Saint-Lazare. Both are available on Amazon. The story will flow better if you read them in order.