The Bookseller

The Bookseller

eBook - 2012
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Who is killing the celebrated bouquinistes of Paris? 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. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Publisher: [S.I.] : Prometheus Books, 2012.
ISBN: 9781616147099
Branch Call Number: Overdrive
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


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Jan 04, 2020

I recently “discovered“ author MARK PRYOR who is British by birth but is a Texan by choice. He lives in that state where he is a Deputy District Attorney in Austin. Pryor’s first love was writing. His second was the city of Paris, France. He has combined those two in THE BOOKSELLER, the first of a multibook series featuring Hugo Marston.

Marston is former a former F.B.I. profiler who has changed jobs. Hugo now is the head of security at the United States Embassy in Paris. He is recently divorced because his wife did not share Hugo’s passion for Paris. Hugo is a book lover who has developed a friendship with Max Koche a Parisian street bookseller (bouquiniste) who operates a book/souvenir stand near the Seine River close to Notre Dame Cathedral. Max is also a former WWII Nazi hunter and currently looks for former Nazi collaborators.

Although Hugo Marston is not a spy, he is involved with keeping visitors to the U.S. Embassy safe, regardless of their being American citizens or foreign dignitaries. As such, he has a support group. James Bond had Miss Moneypenny. Hugo has Emma. Bond had “M”. Hugo has Ambassador Bradford Taylor. Bond had “Q”. Hugo has Tom Green his best friend from the F.B.I. now an operator of some sort for the C.I.A. and “semi-retired”.

As the story opens, Marston has purchased couple of books from Max. One is a rare first edition of a book of poetry by Arthur Rimbaud that Hugo eventually resells for a thousand times more than he paid for it. The other is a first edition of an Agatha Christie mystery. Max also tells Hugo about another book, On War by Clausewitz that eventually leads Hugo on his first adventure.

Along the way, Hugo meets the daughter of a French Count whose father was a Nazi collaborator during WWII. Her name is Claudia Roux and she is a well-respected crime reporter in Paris. The Clausewitz book hides a damning secret about Claudia’s father. Among the “bad” guys are a Romanian drug lord and a dirty French police detective.

I am really impressed by the author’s writing skills. The City of Paris is just as much of a character as the people are. I have already started the second book in the series THE CRYPT THIEF. If you like reading mysteries or stories set in foreign places, you will like this book and the series.


Sep 03, 2019

Unfortunately, this book is very poorly edited, and the many errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation are irritating and distracting (at least to anyone with a love of language). As well, I didn't find the protagonist, Hugh Marston, particularly interesting or engaging. As for his friend Tom, who is introduced as having "an unexpectedly foul mouth", this character device is juvenile and unimaginative; far from being colourful, Tom's crude language is annoying and boring. I gave up around page 100 -- regretfully, as I was hoping this would be a good series.

Mar 18, 2018

Mark Pryor's series, following the crime solving of fictitious character Hugo Marston, are a good read. The characters and different cities in which he finds himself are an interesting part of the stories.

Dec 04, 2017

Interesting complex plot in this debut novel in a thriller series set in Paris. The violence is fairly underplayed, there's lots of wit, the dialog is mostly well done. The sometimes tense relationship between Marston and his boss, the US ambassador to Paris, with the ambassador's reminders to keep out of French police and political affairs, is an added plus. I tried to decide which other characters are likely to be recurring ones. I will look forward to reading others in the series, and hope to learn as much about French and Parisian life and history as I did in this one. I did find one hole in the plot, but it wasn't a major one. Hopefully by the second novel in the series, Pryor and his editor will avoid things like this.

Jan 28, 2017

I quite enjoyed this first book of Hugo Marston by Mark Pryor. Hugo is a Texan transplanted into Paris, cowboy boots and all - working as security for the US Embassy. If there isn't a story there .... . I found the book just the right amount of character development, action and not too much extras on the side (which I like). Hugo is joined by his abrasive CIA friend Tom, who walks just on the other side of proper protocol. The storyline was interesting especially the glimpse into the river side booksellers lives.

Aug 29, 2016

Hugo and Claudia are attractive characters. Loved the settings in and around Paris. Did not care for Tom or his dirty dialogue, a real distraction.

Aug 14, 2016

Enjoyed this one. Will read more of this series.

Nov 15, 2014

A very enjoyable read. I love the Paris setting and the book world connection. A successful debut novel. Looking forward to reading future Hugo Marston novels by this author..

WVMLStaffPicks Jun 06, 2013

If you have ever browsed among the booksellers’ carts along the banks of the Seine in Paris, you will easily immerse yourself in the atmosphere of this mystery involving the suspicious deaths of three bouquinistes. Hugo’s CIA agent friend, Tom, is looking for some excitement and Hugo is on leave from his Embassy duties; together they investigate the deaths and the significance of the rare and valuable book that Max, one of the bouquinistes who was a Holocaust survivor and Nazi hunter, sold to Hugo.

Apr 09, 2013

really enjoye this one. hope there will be many more by this author

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Aug 23, 2016

... that no one lies unless they have to.

Aug 23, 2016

There's no shame in bad luck.

Aug 23, 2016

History isn't just written by the victorious,...

Aug 23, 2016

Break into my house and my soldiers get to crush yours.

Aug 23, 2016

..., curiosity is a sign of intelligence.

Aug 23, 2016

No compliment without an insult.


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