“It was a dark and stormy night…” Okay, it was not stormy, but in Mark Pryor’s second thriller starring Hugo Marston entitled The Crypt Thief, the story opens in a famous Paris cemetery in the middle of a dark night. Spooky.
The villain, nicknamed The Scarab, is up to no good. He kills a young couple before he finishes his grisly work of stealing bones of a famous, deceased Moulin Rouge dancer. Why is Hugo Marston interested in this crime? One of the victims is the son of a United States Senator who is about to start an internship at the U.S. Embassy in Paris. That is Hugo’s workplace, where he is the chief of security for the embassy. A second reason is that the woman may be a Middle Eastern terrorist.
The Scarab is one of the most evil villains this reader has ever seen in nearly 70 years of reading. He thinks he is a modern day Dr. Frankenstein, stealing bones of famous Moulin Rouge dancers in order the recreate his mother, also a famous dancer at that Parisian icon.
Hugo calls his “team” together to help solve the crimes. The group includes Claudia, a crime reporter and Hugo’s sometimes lover; Captain Raul Garcia of the Paris police; Tom Green, his best friend and C.I.A. contract employee; and the U.S. Ambassador Bradford Taylor.
A parallel story involves the threat of terrorism by a Middle East team. The story takes place in Paris and the southwest of France near the Spanish border.
All in all a very satisfying story. As in the first book in the series, The Bookseller, there is plenty of action, some romance and a starring role for the city of Paris. Highly recommended reading for fans of mysteries and international intrigue. The author keeps the reader engrossed at all times. Fast-paced.
GO! BUY! READ!
–Jim Harris, retired book sales rep
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