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Pryor, Mark: "The Bookseller"

Mark Pryor Books

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"The Bookseller"
the first Hugo Marston novel

by Mark Pryor

Published by Seventh Street Books
280 pp Papperback
$15.95 US October 2012

What a treat!!! "Bookseller" truly was a delightful 'escape' for me. It had everything I enjoy and more. Paris, books, intrique, thrills, Paris, twisted villians, passionate romance (it IS Paris after all), sinfully delicious foods, fascinating people, a hard driving storyline that is relentless and all of it soooo very well written! Like I said a pure treat!! I had never read anything by Mark Pryor before but trust me this man was born to write. It has been a long time time since I have read anything that was so beautifully written. Pryor would have been a Professor of Literature's dream student. He has a gift for describing scenes so perfectly that he makes the readers' senses come alive and places them in the scenes. I was blown away with his skill at what my old Professor called "word paintings". I rarely ever do this but I feel that I need to show you an example of this rare gift so here is an excerpt from the book. Tell me you can't 'feel' and picture this scene as Hugo enters a cafe, hidden away from tourists behind weathered wood and faded signs.

"Hugo put his shoulder to the door and stepped into a small room filled with trails of smoke that rose past the blank, tired faces of the men who stared into cups of coffee, beer, and shot glasses of amber liquid. A scarred stone floor and the heavy elbows of the bars patrons made every one of the dozen or so tables wobble, though no one was moving much. Above Hugo's head dark beams striped the low ceiling, the plaster stained yellow from a hundred years or more of cigarette and cigar smoke."

See? Pryor paints the scene and the reader is drawn in. What a wonderful talent. I am looking forward to everything he writes in the future. This is his first novel starring Hugo Marsten, a character he fashioned after his own Father, a man of strength, intergrity, fearlessness, and obviously an obssesive sleuth.

Hugo is currently on vacation from his post as Head of Security at the US Embassy in Paris but decides to stay in Paris. Hugo is an avid Bibliophile and intends to scour the book stalls of Paris to increase his personal Library. What happens his first day will force him to follow a dangerous path to a desperate hunt for the sadistic killers, of all people, the old sentients of the river Siene in their small cluttered stalls - the 'bookquinistes'. Hugo stops first at his favorite bookseller, Max, who has several books set aside for him. Before Hugo can finish his transaction a disturbed looking man with a comic book face kidnaps Max and drags him to a boat just feet away. With a gun at Max's throat Hugo is powerless to rescue his frail old friend. All of Hugo's experiences tell him, as the boat pulls away and he sees Max's distressed face and wet eyes plead with him, that he will probably never see his friend again. With his vacation in front of him, Hugo sets his mind and all his many skills and connections to finding Max. As bodies of other booksellers turn up floating in the Seine, Hugo finds that he is now marked for capture, torture and murder. Little does he realize what a nest of vipers he is about to uncover. Trust me you will relish not just the storyline and the plotline, but the suspense will fuel your interest till the very last page. I suggest that you start by a grocery store trip for a good bottle of wine, some crusty baguettes, a few select cheeses, some grapes and a few French pastries THEN settle in as Pryor indulges you in every "guilty pleasure" imaginable!

About the Author:
Mark Pryor grew up in Hertfordshire, England, and now lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and three young children. He is currently an Assistant District Attorney with the Travis County DAs office. Or, as he tells his kids, I help catch bad guys. Simplistic, yes, but you try explaining the judicial system to six-year-old twins!" He is currently writing his next novel "As She Lay Sleeping". He says that he loves to travel and he will continue to take his readers on these escapist suspenseful thrill rides all over the globe. Where do we buy our tickets Mark?

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 [F] Mystery Net Community  / Mystery Books & Authors  / Book Reviews  / Pryor, Mark: "The Bookseller"

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