Title: The Bookseller
Author: Mark Pryor
Publisher: Seventh Street Books
Current Price: £8.74 (PB)
Link in Amazon: The Bookseller
The Bookseller harks back to the days of crisis being low key, it brings in World War 2 and collaborators but only as an aside, almost as a ‘red herring’.
The main character, Hugo Marston, fulfils the general characteristics of the hard-baked ex-cop, with a broken marriage; but here it departs from that genre, and develops the character. Yes, he is an ex-cop, but actually ex-FBI, now he is head of security at a US Embassy in Paris, speaks excellent French (something I have only just started to learn) and has a hobby of collecting books and visiting second-hand book shops and the booksellers in Paris, but in particular Max who is located about a quarter of a mile from Quai Saint Michel. He has friends in these places and feels at a lost when one of them (Max) is hustled away under threat!
There are a couple of side streams developed along with the main one; that of securing the release of Max. A mysterious feminine reporter, who has an equally mysterious past, and a policeman who seems to not want to do anything about the ‘kidnapping’ – indeed seems to be blocking anything from happening.
Hugo brings into use his contacts in the USA (Tom a spook for the CIA) and through a lot of misadventures and stumbling, not to say many side entries, the story comes to a resolvement.
However, the book is anything but predictable, and the many side trips, in conjunction, make for a very interesting, well written, and enticing book.
For me as a reader, I love a book which is subtle, one that does not throw guns at you at every corner, one that makes you think. It reminds me of Conan Doyle’s stories, off John Creasey’s stories about the Toff, or even of John le Carré’s stories with George Smiley.
Mark Pryor has written nine books with the main character of Hugo Marston, I will be looking to read the rest in the series in the coming year, I hope you will do so as well:
- The Bookseller(2012)
2. The Crypt Thief (2013)
3. The Blood Promise (2014)
4. The Button Man (2014)
5. The Reluctant Matador (2015)
6. The Paris Librarian (2016)
7. The Sorbonne Affair (2017)
8. The Book Artist (2019)
9. The French Widow (2020)