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Stephen Holgate
"To Live and Die In the Floating World"
Kip Weston, young scion of a fabulously wealthy American family, has become a wanted fugitive. Out of money and desperate, he flees his seedy quarter of Paris one step ahead of a private detective and heads for the countryside. Here, he falls into a job with the Celeste, a small tourist barge plying the canals of Burgundy. Kip quickly finds that in running from one peril he has landed in far greater danger from another. A tale of mounting suspense, it ends in a spasm of violence that closes all accounts. For all its plot twists and shocks, “To Live and Die In the Floating World” is driven by the secrets and conflicted motives of a vivid cast of characters : Diane, the boat’s owner, once beautiful but now wracked by alcohol and her fear of a powerful former lover; Dilip, the boat’s Sri Lankan skipper, his wish to become a Buddhist monk now reduced to keeping a deadly secret and trying to protect his beloved Diane; Brigitte, the beautiful and enigmatic passenger Kip falls in love with, despite warnings that she “belongs” to the rich and murderous Marius Carbonne, whose presence looms over everyone in this perilous floating world.