Booksellers along the Seine, a transplanted Texan with a hidden vulnerable side, a beautiful, enigmatic reporter, murder(s), and, of course, Paris – what a tasty cassoulet! This debut novel gets Pryor’s Hugo Marston series off to a great start.
What appears to be the simple abduction of elderly bookstall owner, Max Koche, sets off fireworks as Marston tries to discover not only the why of Max’s kidnapping, but also why the Parisian authorities seem determined to treat it as unimportant. Even when Max’s body turns up and other booksellers are dying, no one seems interested in looking further. Marston teams up with reporter, Claudia de Roussillon, and his pal from their days at Quantico, Tom Green, to untangle the various threads on their own. As they pull out each strand it turns into a hydra-like monster sprouting more threads to explore. Pryor shows great skill in keeping all the seemingly disparate lines moving as he draws the story to its conclusion. What could have been an overly-complex, unbelievable plot is just messy enough to intrigue without having to take notes to follow.
Despite a few first novel rough edges, The Bookseller is a solid start to what has the potential to be a good series to follow.
This is also available as an audiobook.
The Crypt Thief
The Blood Promise