Saturday, March 30, 2019

Review: The Book Artist by Mark Pryor

The Book Artist (Hugo Marston, Book #8)
by Mark Pryor
Release Date: February 5th 2019
2019 Seventh Street Books
Kindle Edition; 272 Pages
ISBN: 978-1633884885
Genre: Fiction / Mystery / Suspense
Source: Review copy from publisher

3.5 / 5 Stars

Hugo Marston accompanies his boss, US Ambassador J. Bradford Taylor, to the first night of an art exhibition in Montmartre, Paris. Hugo is less than happy about going until he finds out that the sculptures on display are made from his favorite medium: books. Soon after the champagne starts to flow and the canapes are served, the night takes a deadly turn when one of the guests is found murdered.

Hugo lingers at the scene and offers his profiling expertise to help solve the crime, but the detective in charge quickly jumps to his own conclusions. He makes an arrest, but it's someone that Hugo is certain is innocent. Meanwhile, his best friend, Tom Green, has disappeared to Amsterdam, hunting an enemy from their past, an enemy who gets the upper hand on Tom, and who then sets his sights on Hugo.

My Thoughts
The Book Artist is the eighth installment in the Hugo Marston series and I enjoyed it quite a bit.  There is something really solid about this series that draws me back into Hugo's world time and time again; interesting characters, good story lines, and intrigue that is rather intriguing.  These are also the type of books you can finish in one sitting which is nice if you're just finished something daunting and challenging and want something easy and quick to read.

Hugo has been a favourite of mine for quite a while now and he has been through a lot, this book being no exception.  I enjoy his personality and of course, the fact that he loves books has absolutely nothing to with it. ☺ He has also developed quite a bit and seems more relaxed in his personal relationships; he also doesn't take them for granted and appreciates the time he has with everyone, which is kind of nice.  Hugo is also a former FBI agent who is head of security for the local American embassy in Paris, so naturally, there is a lot of interesting things happening.  I continue to enjoy the dialogue between the embassador and Hugo as well as their developing friendship; it's also interesting to follow Hugo and learn more about what his job entails and some of the things he has to do.  Unfortunately, there is one nasty twist I wasn't expecting, and really didn't like, only because it was a bit upsetting.   While these books are interesting, I don't usually find them to be unpredictable so I wasn't expecting this little twist and it caught me off guard.  

The plot therefore, was quite predictable and it was fairly easy to figure out the culprit in this mystery.  While the author really does try to set some red herrings for the reader, I don't think they worked very well, but it didn't stop me from enjoyed the book.  The rather nasty twist didn't have anything to do with the actual mystery in this book but actually had to do with something that happened in a previous novel so if a reader wasn't familiar with that situation they may be a bit confused as to the seriousness of what was happening. The author did mesh the two story lines together just fine towards the end, although at first I was a bit skeptical they would work as they were completely different things.  There was this feeling though, that the author was just using this previous character as a way to fill up space in this book because there wasn't enough material for the mystery that was happening in Paris.  Just a thought.

The Book Artist is a book that will entertain you, but if you are looking for an in-depth, complicated mystery, then this may not be for you, even if the events are not necessarily light-hearted.  I really enjoy the characters in these books which is why I return to them and have read every book, but I do read them because they are easier to read.   That is not necessarily a bad thing, and I recommend this book, and series, to anyone looking for something lighter to read, but still want something enjoyable.