The Blood Promise
A Hugo Marston Mystery by Mark Pryor
Review: A historical legend from 1795 is fused with a modern day murder mystery in The Blood Promise, the third mystery to feature security expert Hugo Marston in this series by Mark Pryor.
Marston, the United States Embassy's Head of Security in Paris, has been asked to "baby-sit" Presidential hopeful Senator Charles Lake, who already has two bodyguards to protect him. Lake is in France to help negotiate the future of Guadeloupe, a group of islands currently under France's rule. Some of the nation's more disgruntled citizens want Guadeloupe to become a part of the United States. The mediations are to take place in the chateau of Henri Toursville, a member of the Ministry of the Foreign and European Affairs. Marston and Lake agree to stay at the chateau until the talks were over. While waiting for dinner, Marston goes into the library where he meets Toursville's sister, Alexi. Both are interested in old books, first editions especially, and antiques. Alexi tells Marston she has taken on a new interest: genealogy. Just before dinner while waiting to be seated, Marston sees an antique sailor's chest. It piques his curiosity, but no one seems to know much about it, except it is about 200 years old and has hidden compartments. That first night Senator Lake is awakened and sees someone leaning over his bed in the dark. When he complains of this to Toursville, Lake is accused of being drunk or dreaming. Outraged at their host's response, Marston and Lake return to their hotel in Paris. Marston, however, contacts Captaine Raul Garcia and requests that he go to the chateau and discretely conduct an investigation. Among the many fingerprints found in the bedroom where Lake slept is one that ties into a robbery/murder in Troyes, a town just south of Paris. When Garcia suggests fingerprinting Henri Toursville and the guests that were at the dinner that night, plus the household servants, Toursville refuses. In the meantime, Lake disappears without a word to his bodyguards. Marston then calls his good friend CIA agent Tom Green, and together with Captaine Garcia and Camille Lerens, a Paris police detective, they set out to find clues to identify a murderer and find Senator Lake.
The characters in The Blood Promise are well-drawn and from a reader's perspective, approachable. There seems to be a natural camaraderie among the police officials and Hugo that makes them a good team. The sailor's chest is linked in a clever way to the murder mystery, as is Alexi's interest in genealogy. All in all, a solid entry in this series and an entertaining read.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Blood Promise.
Acknowledgment: Seventh Street Books provided an ARC of The Blood Promise for this review.
Review Copyright © 2014 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Crypt Thief
Seventh Street Books (Trade Paperback), May 2013
ISBN-13: 9781616147853; ISBN-10: 1616147857
The Button Man
Seventh Street Books (Trade Paperback), September 2014
ISBN-13: 9781616149949; ISBN-10: 1616149949
Location(s) referenced in The Blood Promise: Paris, France
— ♦ —
The Blood Promise by Mark Pryor — A Hugo Marston Mystery
Publisher: Seventh Street Books
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: January 2014
List Price: $15.95
— ♦ —
Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
Mysterious Reviews is a Division of
The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books
and a Business Unit of the
Omnimystery Family of Mystery Websites