Amy Lignor's Reviews > The Bookseller

The Bookseller by C. Robert Cales
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Apr 19, 2012

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Read in April, 2012

This is an intricate one, to say the least. The Bookseller is wrapped around an amazing couple – George and Elizabeth Saunders. George is a young man who – when all other boys his age were playing football and enjoying girls – was buried in books.

His passion for the written word is undeniable (and easy for someone like me to relate to). Books were his soul, until he met Elizabeth. This MBA had a head for business, and after she married George and they opened their rare bookstore in the Boston Commons, she ran the coffee parlor (which everyone loved), while her husband found, collected and sold the rarest editions of books imaginable. What they didn’t expect, residing in their own peaceful little life, was a crazy man to appear who wanted to buy their store; another man who dropped off an ancient book filled with evil magic which will turn ‘nice’ George into a hunter needing revenge; and a painful experience with their loving Rottweiler named Caesar.

Frank Richter is George’s best friend from long ago. A funeral director, he is headed down a new career path and into a new life after he ‘catches up’ with his old friends. And little does HE know that his new life will include immortals, ladies of the evening, and a colossal battle.

Carols Ramirez is a drug dealer and smuggler. He lives in a chateau that was helped with Nazi gold and owns a vault with creepy exhibits (very cool, by the way) of everyone from Vlad the Impaler to Hitler to Jack the Ripper. Why does he have these one-of-a-kind items from these hideous monsters of history? Because he WAS these hideous monsters. Carlos is an immortal and was killed many times, with each time offering him a new opportunity at life. This time around he’s all about wealth and power; he tortures his enemies and friends in ways that would make even Jack Bauer turn pale, and he is after a bookstore. Yes, a bookstore. He has a new way of smuggling cocaine that even the DEA will never discover and he needs a bookstore near a port in order to make that dream come true.

Another storyline involves a man named John Stoner, who is the point man for one of the largest construction firms in the country and has entered Freetown, Massachusetts in order to raze a house called The House by the locals which is supposedly filled with dark, frightening, eerie legends. The locals don’t want him…but then help him, and he quickly falls in love with a local girl and begins to question his freedom, all of a sudden wanting nothing more than to settle down.

With a few other supporting cast members and their back stories, these characters all come together in a mammoth novel that has a super-interesting plot at its core. My advice would be to stick with this one, but I must say that at least one hundred pages could be shaved off by an editor in order to make this a more action-packed and thrilling experience. The back stories of the characters go on a bit too long and, unfortunately, make the reader lose interest for twenty or so pages at a time before that adventurous ‘core’ comes back to get you excited once again. Perhaps this should have been a series stretched out over two novels.

Until Next Time, Everybody.

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