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The Blood Promise
Hugo Marston Series # 3
Mark Pryor

Seventh Street Books
Jan 14, 2014 / ISBN 978-1-61614
Mystery / Paris / mid 1790's and present day

Reviewed by Claudia VanLydegraf


I have never read a novel by Mark Pryor, so in the beginning, I was a bit put off by some of his style and writing. I guess I was looking for some cohesive links to be made clear before the first hundred pages of this book. That said, once I got into The Blood Promise, I could NOT put it down. Pryor is a captivating writer and he touched on things that are relevant in many of the lives of everyday people who like to find things out and love to research lost histories.

Hugo Marston and Tom Green are Agents. Agents of what, one is never really sure, but they are welcomed by Police, CIA, FBI and most local alphabet letter soup groups of detectives who are trying to solve crimes. They are on a jaunt to Paris with a Senator (Charles Lake) who is trying to break a deal with the French over some obscure islands that not many people really care about. They are working with the French in Paris.

All hell starts breaking lose and people start dying, No one seems to know why. An old lady is trying to protect a Sailor's Box, or safe, that has something very important inside. Something written back in 1795 and forgotten for 200 years, that was signed by a man named Pichon in his own blood. The box mysteriously shows up at a Chateau outside of Paris where the talks are to take place with our senator and several high placed figures in the French government.

Mr. Marston has an interest in old things, doesn't know about the murder to get the Sailors Box, or the reason the man (Henri Tourville), who owns the Chateau, doesn't want anyone to take fingerprints after the senator complains that someone was in his room the night of their arrival. A necklace shows up at a local jeweler's that has questionable ties and may be part of the missing things from the box.

Alexandra Tourville, the sister of Henri, does genealogy as a sort of part-time pass time. There is a lot of consternation about the privacy of the estate, and the family and one wonders why so much is left unsaid, when the truth would solve a lot of things right away. But the reasons for the privacy becomes understood when the letter that is inside the box comes known. A really nice French policeman is killed to protect the box, a young lady is killed because she did little things to throw people onto the scent of the trail. Alexandra Tourville is skilled at games.

This really turned out to be a great book, and I am happy to say that I thoroughly enjoyed how it played out: good characters for key players who all have penchants for thumping their partners a bit, goading them a little too much at times, but that just enhances the ways that the people push their minds a bit further. I have studied genealogy and that part of The Blood Promise really got inside my head in that area of the book. Good stuff that makes me want to get further into my own genealogy to see what I can turn up. The Blood Promise makes every reader think more about the little things that we don't know about..... I am going to get hold of Pryor's other two books, just for the fun of my mind whirling around to figure them out. I wonder if the end of this book is really true? I will have to check out many things to see just what happened to the real or made up Blood Promise as written by the old man, Pichon in the letter that opens this Hugo Marston novel.

Reviews of others in this series

The Blood Promise #3
The Button Man #4


Reviewed 2014