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The Crypt Thief by Mark Pryor

The Crypt Thief

by Mark Pryor

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1176154,555 (3.44)15



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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
A good follow up to the first in the series, both well written, engaging. Interesting main characters, plot and good suspense - the protagonist is a US Embassy employee in charge of security. The villain in this one was very creepy/scary so it really held my attention. The writer is British but has lived in the US for a number of years. My complaints: I like novels that are more thought-provoking rather than just action-suspense novels without much below the surface. The second issue, for me, is that I found the dialogue, especially between the main protagonist and his CIA sidekick to be a bit forced, over the top, too much slang, swearing and seemingly 'cool' phrases, as if the author was going out of his way to make the book more appealing to a mass US audience. Not sure I will be in a hurry to read the next in this series. ( )
  MitchMcCrimmon | Apr 27, 2018 |
murder, law-enforcement, paris, madness, serial-killer, audiobook

Hugo Marston is an exceptional investigator with a complicated past, as is his old friend Tom, and then there are Capitale Raul Garcia and reporter Claudia. They work kind of together to solve some really difficult but overlapping cases, including Tom's worsening alcoholism. The main thing is identifying and stopping a madman with a horrible agenda. Very well done!
Todd McLaren is the excellent narrator for this series. ( )
  jetangen4571 | Nov 12, 2017 |
In many ways the weakest of the Hugo Marston novels I've read. More violence than the others or at least more graphic. The villain is "bad" physically & mentally scarred as opposed to the physically prime hero. It does have a stronger depiction of one of the recurring character, reporter Claudia, who takes independent action. Overall an entertaining read, just less so than the other novels in the series. ( )
  MM_Jones | May 14, 2017 |
Good read, after this second Hugo Marston novel I am really thinking the series will be very good. This book in its own is good, not quite as good as the first, but it kept me flipping the pages quickly! A little too much specific detail writing at times in places that were a little dark but I guess that's an attribute to the author that I was really visualizing. It has the same depth of characters, layered plots and intriguingly unique storylines. ( )
  Hanneri | May 4, 2015 |

It’s summer in Paris and two tourists have been killed in Père La Chaise cemetery in front of Jim Morrison’s grave. The killer leaves the bodies untouched but moves deeper into the cemetery, where he breaks into the crypt of a long-dead Moulin Rouge dancer. In a bizarre twist, he disappears into the night with part of her skeleton. The cemetery is locked down and put under surveillance, but the thief returns, flitting in and out like a ghost, taking more bones from another legendary can-can dancer under cover of night. One of the dead tourists proves to be an American and the other a woman linked to a known terrorist; so the US ambassador sends his best man and the embassy's head of security-Hugo Marston-to help the French police with their investigation. At first, Hugo is stumped. How does this killer operate unseen? And why is he stealing the bones of once-famous can-can girls? Hugo cracks the secrets of the graveyard, but soon realizes that old bones aren't all this serial killer wants: his ultimate plan requires the flesh and organs of the living. And when the crypt thief spots the former FBI agent on his tail, he decides that Hugo's body will do just fine.
My take.........

This is the second in a series of three books so far featuring Hugo Marston as a US embassy employee based in Paris. I read the first The Bookseller in November last year courtesy of the publisher, Seventh Street books.

This time around Hugo, as head of security becomes involved in investigating the murder of an American citizen, who happens to be the son of a senator. His dead companion is discovered to be a Pakistani citizen who has entered the country on fake documents and with a suspected terrorist, or at the least – person of interest.

Hugo’s friend, Tom with his oft-hinted at, but never defined role with the CIA is assigned to the investigation. The belief being it is terror related. Hugo and to a degree Tom believe the reason for the murders are less straightforward, especially considering the fact that the killer was responsible for desecrating a grave and stealing some bones. Further thefts of bones occur along with additional killings, as Tom and Hugo conduct the investigation in conjunction with the Parisian police – namely Capitaine Garcia and with input from Hugo’s on/off journalist girlfriend Claudia.

I have probably rushed my summary, partly because I found the plot a little bit too........err, unconvincing. We intermittently follow our killer throughout the book and gradually come to understand what his reasons and rationale are for his actions and what the ultimate intention is for his proposed coup de grace. I was just unmoved by it.

There was still a lot to like about the book. There’s plenty of Paris on show and there’s a familiarity and likeability about the main character Hugo and his friends, Tom, Garcia and Claudia. There’s a lot of banter between Hugo and Tom and the concern about Tom’s health and substance abuse is convincingly presented. I like the recurring characters and enjoy spending time in their company.

Overall – positive points for characters and settings. Less so, for the plot. The investigation was intriguing to a degree as Hugo brought his profiling skills to bear; and remained intriguing whilst there was ambiguity in the enquiry......serial murderer or terrorist angle....the latter part of the book just sort of faded away for me.

Not as enjoyable for me as The Bookseller.

3 from 5.

The Bookseller thoughts are on here somewhere, or on my blog if interested. The third in the series The Blood Promise awaits and will be read in the next month or so.

Thanks to the publisher Seventh Street books for my copy of this. ( )
  col2910 | Apr 17, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Who killed the young couple whose bodies are found next to Jim Morrison’s grave in Paris’s Père Lachaise cemetery? That’s the central question in Pryor’s second novel in the series featuring Hugo Marston, the stolid but likable head of security at the American embassy in Paris. The mystery is diverting, the Parisian atmosphere enchanting, and the book less a whodunit than an entertaining whydunit. But as a favour to readers, could Pryor please ditch Hugo’s drunken CIA pal who may be the most irritating sidekick in current crime fiction?
added by VivienneR | editToronto Star, Jack Batten (Jun 13, 2013)
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It's summer in Paris and two tourists have been murdered in Pere Lachaise cemetery in front of Jim Morrison's grave. The cemetery is locked down and put under surveillance, but the killer returns, flitting in and out like a ghost, and breaks into the crypt of a long-dead Moulin Rouge dancer. In a bizarre twist, he disappears under the cover of night with part of her skeleton. One of the dead tourists is an American and the other is a woman linked to a suspected terrorist; so the U.S. ambassador sends his best man and the embassy's head of security--Hugo Marston--to help the French police with their investigation. When the thief breaks into another crypt at a different cemetery, stealing bones from a second famed dancer, Hugo is stumped. How does this killer operate unseen? And why is he stealing the bones of once-famous can-can girls?… (more)

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