THE RELUCTANT MATADOR by Mark Pryor

THE RELUCTANT MATADOR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The head of security at the U.S. Embassy in Paris explores Barcelona in search of a wannabe model.

Hugo Marston (The Button Man, 2014, etc.) is looking forward to some pancakes and bacon with his friend Bart Denum’s stepdaughter, Amy Dreiss, at Breakfast in America, Paris’s trendy answer to IHOP. What he gets is stood up. No call, no text, no Amy. Worried, he checks Amy’s Marais apartment, where a neighbor tells him to check the Club Caterina in Pigalle. Instead of modeling, Amy’s stripping, and she’s left the country with Rubén Castañeda, of Estruch Entertainment Enterprises, who’s promised her a better job in Spain. So Hugo heads south with his best friend, Tom Green, a freelance, free-drinking CIA agent who just can’t help pissing off the cops. Green has a pied-à-terre in Barcelona the CIA will let them use, and pretty soon the two of them find Castañeda’s body on the floor of his apartment. Tom does his best to annoy the local police by dragging his gun into the station, but Chief Inspector Bartoli Garcia, an old friend of Hugo’s, gives the American the Spanish equivalent of carte blanche to run the investigation. Focusing on Castañeda’s colleagues—smart Nisha Bhandari, aristocratic Leo Baresetti, and geeky Todd Finch—Hugo tries to connect the dots between Estruch and Los Matadorés, a shadowy prison gang that may be responsible for the bull’s head drawn in blood over Castañeda’s body. But when a second corpse appears, he fears that time may be running out for Amy.

Pryor lays it on thick: Hugo and Tom act out with frat-boy glee, the Rioja flows, and the Spanish authorities assign only English-speaking detectives for the convenience of their American chums. Strictly for those who think espionage is like Club Med without the beads.

Pub Date: June 2nd, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-63388-002-3
Page count: 290pp
Publisher: Seventh Street/Prometheus
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2015




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