The setting for Return Ticket is rue St-Denis, a notorious stretch of Paris with some of the Western world’s seediest hookers, pimps and reprobates.
The story takes place during the last decade of the 20th century, a time when, to quote the novel’s protagonist, Franck Robinson, “the whole planet was for sale”.
When Franck Robinson isn’t cutting junk bonds, acting as go-between on arms deals and immigration scams, or taking contingencies as an ambulance-chasing lawyer, he usually finds himself on rue St-Denis, spending his cash on cheap Parisian streetwhores.
One night, Franck stumbles into the Café de Flore, and meets Sheba, a call-girl who is a cut or two above Franck’s usual fare, skilled in the arts of S&M, with a long track record of shattered lives to her credit, and a death obsession.
Return Ticket is reminiscent of the works of Henry Miller and J.P. Donleavy – two authors to whom David MacKinnon has already been compared.