I stopped reviewing for Armchair Squid'sThe Cephalopod Coffeehouse some time ago because of time constraints. I love reading and lately all I've been doing is dropping a few lines on Goodreads once I finish a book. Signing up again to this bookish meme gives me the motivation to do a more lengthy review again.
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Out of all the wonderful books I've read recently, (and hello, there's been a few!) Mark Pryor's latest in the most excellent Hugo Marston mystery/thriller series, The Reluctant Matador, comes up trumps.
I've read all the books in the series in the order they've been written, as the publisher picked up my rave review for The Bookseller, the first in the series, and since then, I've been put on a mailing list. Lucky, lucky me! I can't resist the 'long, tall Texan in his ten-gallon hat'...black overcoat and cowboy boots hoofing it around Paris and beyond.
Now to The Reluctant Matador, Pryor's latest. The story starts in Paris, with Hugo, the security chief at the American Embassy in Paris, heading off to meet a friend's aspiring-model daughter for a full-on, full-fat American breakfast. So this book had me salivating right from the get-go (geez, I'm so full of Americanisms today!) But I love food in books, so I was quite miffed when the teen stood Hugo up and Hugo (and vicariously, me) had to be satisfied with just a coffee and no pancakes and maple syrup and bacon. Darn!! But smelling something fishy, Hugo's sleuthing skills switch into gear, and another great thriller begins. Hugo finds out that this 'model' daughter was actually a dancer at a seedy strip club in Paris, ooh la la! And he finds out that she's been lured to Barcelona by some seedy guy she met at the club. We know this is bad.
The juxtaposing of the usually straight-up Hugo with the anything-goes drunken, slovenly former CIA agent, Tom Green, always makes for colourful reading. During their illegal sleuthing in Barcelona, which really offends the Spanish police, Hugo and Tom stumble upon a shocker of a scene right out of a Gothic novel. The teen's father, Bart, is implicated in this grizly murder and imprisoned by the Barcelona police.
So the story unfolds with the two Americans facing their biggest challenge ever--find the killer/s, prove Bart's innocence, and trace the missing daughter who they can only hope and pray is alive. Meanwhile, they need to avoid being killed along the way.
Okay, I'm a gushing fan of Pryor's books and I hope he keeps them coming. And I'm a big fan of his settings--usually Paris, London and most recently Barcelona. Can't go wrong with these heavy lifters adding colour and excitement to an already-glittering plot.
So if you'd like to see what I have to say on his other books, check out my reviews on Goodreads. (Click on any of the first book covers in my Goodread's widget in my sidebar). This series doesn't have to be read in order as each has its own storyline.
Thanks for visiting/reading.
- Have your read any of Mark Pryor's Hugo Marston series? Would you like to after reading my review?
As you saw from WEP's Spectacular Settings challenge, (which was a spectacular success and finishes today), we love settings which sing, and Pryor's are definitely a character in his books.