Come Barbarians by Todd Babiak

A fiction pick by Jean-Louis

come barbarians-crop(HarperCollins, 2013)

In his latest novel, Edmonton resident Todd Babiak has struck out into new literary territory. His previous novels have been straight up literary fiction but in Come Barbarians, he has given us an international thriller. Christopher Kruse has moved to the south of France with his wife and young daughter to become a better man. His marriage has faced problems and his personal life is in a bit of a shambles as he is pulled in too many directions by his work as a high-priced security agent.

Ostensibly on a sabbatical from her job as a professor of Philosophy, Christopher’s wife becomes intimately engaged in political machinations in France. In this novel, the stakes in the political game are at their highest and the Kruse family find themselves paying a high price indeed. The game has rules, however, and Christopher crisscrosses France trying to identify the rules, the players, winners and losers. He needs to make sense of the violence and betrayal he finds himself in and he metes out a little retribution of his own.

For those who like their intrigue with an international flair, this novel has it in spades. Babiak has his hero shuttle from Marseille to Quimper, from Aix-en-Provence to Paris, and to many other  destinations along the way. Babiak’s descriptions of bad guys and scenery are equally as good! Enjoy.

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