Title: The Bookseller
Author: Mark Pryor
Published: October 9th, 2012
Publisher: Seventh Street Books
Series: Hugo Marston Novels
Max—an elderly Paris bookstall owner—is abducted at gunpoint. His friend, Hugo Marston, head of security at the US embassy, looks on helplessly, powerless to do anything to stop the kidnapper. Marston launches a search, enlisting the help of semiretired CIA agent Tom Green. Their investigation reveals that Max was a Holocaust survivor and later became a Nazi hunter. Is his disappearance somehow tied to his grim history, or even to the mysterious old books he sold?
On the streets of Paris, tensions are rising as rival drug gangs engage in violent turf wars. Before long, other booksellers start to disappear, their bodies found floating in the Seine. Though the police are not interested in his opinion, Marston is convinced the hostilities have something to do with the murders of these bouquinistes.
Then he himself becomes a target of the unknown assassins.
With Tom by his side, Marston finally puts the pieces of the puzzle together, connecting the past with the present and leading the two men, quite literally, to the enemy's lair.
Just as the killer intended.
First, this book will enchant you with its charm and wit. The descriptions of Paris and its bouquinistes (sidewalk booksellers) are beautifully written and instantly transport you to a book lover's dream.
Then, once it has lured you into a sense of safety and croissant-loving romance, the storyline twists you into a dramatic knot with a cold-blooded murder and mystery.
Finally, after all has been said and done and figured out, this great work will leave you satisfied and fulfilled with an authentic story of love and friendship.
I still can't believe that this is Mark Pryor's first mystery novel! This book is wonderfully descriptive and just transports you to France immediately. I could smell the coffee, taste the croissants, imagine myself finding the deal of the lifetime from a bookseller - it is a truly amazing feat to accomplish.
The mystery in this novel is plain and simple. Someone is killing off Paris' bouquinistes - who is it and why? They puzzle is well thought out and reminiscent of many Sherlock Holmes novels. You actually have all the details right in front of you, but simply need our main character, Hugo Marston, to put the pieces together for you.
The love story is not too over-the-top; it seems natural and unforced. Simultaneously, Hugo's re-kindled friendship with his old pal, Tom, is humorous and fun, and you can actually envision the three of them as life-long friends long after the mystery ends.
I honestly can't say a bad word about this book. Pick it up and give it a try :)
5 out of 5 stars!