So, my buddy Hugo Marston was here last year talking about a day in his life, and if I know him it was the usual mix of self-deprecating charm dosed with plenty of boy-scout adventures. That’s right, I haven’t read it because I get to see him every day doing his thing—saving injured puppies, rescuing nuns, and knitting wooly socks for bunnies with cold tootsies.
Oh, I should probably introduce myself, since everything is always about Hugo and he doesn’t normally get around to giving me my due. My name is Tom Green and I’m Hugo’s best friend. Have been since we met at the FBI Academy, when I helped him shoot and study. In fact, I think he’d admit that he wouldn’t have come top of his class if it weren’t for me.
My day normally begins at around ten, more often than not with a headache and a taste in my mouth that matches the newspaper lining in a parrot’s cage. Hugo will have been at work for several hours already, sipping lattes and hand-writing thank-you notes to guests of the US embassy where he works. Assuming he’s restocked the kitchen, I’ll make some coffee for myself and check out the news online. A couple of times a week I’ll wake up and find someone snoring next to me. If she’s pretty and I didn’t have to pay for her, I might be generous and spring for breakfast. If she’s not and I did, I’ll give her some cash purloined from Hugo’s wallet and end the transaction.
I can’t really talk about my job. It’s no secret that I work for the CIA on a contract basis, but the specifics I don’t share with anyone, even Hugo. He wouldn’t approve of most of what I do, he’s more of a by-the-book lawman. My focus is on results more than method, which is why the CIA have been good to me, kept me working despite a few issues with single malt and married women.
Hugo jokes about me mooching a room from him, which I do because of lunch. I’ve been to most places in the world and I can promise you that a long lunch at Les Deux Magots on Place Saint-German des Prés is unmatchable. It’s the kind of place you can sit by yourself for three hours and no one will hurry you. I can take a book and read while they bring their delicious tomato and goat’s cheese mille-feuilles, followed by the hand-chopped steak tartare. Thursday is my favorite day, when they do a roasted saddle of lamb. Succulent.
If I’m not working I’ll usually hook up with Hugo for an afternoon coffee. If he’s working on a fun case I’ll try and help him. He acts the Boy Scout but when he’s muddling around in the dark and isn’t sure which way to turn, he doesn’t mind me breaking a few windows to let in the light, if you know what I mean. It’s all good, we complement each other and haven’t failed on one of his cases yet.
I do worry about him, though. As much as I rib him, the guy has gone out on a limb for me in the past, put himself in a tough spot for me. There’s a chance that’s coming back to bite him now, more than a decade later. There’s this guy who I saw in Paris. Hugo didn’t believe me but I know I saw him. He’s trouble, in the worst way. If you want the details they’re covered pretty well in Hugo’s latest adventure, The Sorbonne Affair.
Anyway, although we’ve not really talked about it much I feel like I’ve put Hugo in harm’s way and so, if you really want to know what a day in the life of Tom Green is like, what I’ll be doing for the next few weeks anyway, it won’t be the usual roll of pretty ladies and fancy lunches. It’ll revolve around keeping my best friend safe.
And I’ll do it any way I have to.
Well, maybe just one bottle of wine per evening, and a scotch or two late at night. And, come to think of it, Hugo would know something’s up if I behave too well, so I suppose I’ll have to charm the occasional lady into the apartment. After all, if we change the way we live for the bad guys, then they win, right? And we can’t have that. No sirree, not on my watch.
You can read more about Tom in The Sorbonne Affair, the seventh book in the “Hugo Marston” mystery series.
Someone is spying on American author Helen Hancock. While in Paris to conduct research and teach a small class of writers, she discovers a spy camera hidden in her room at the Sorbonne Hotel. She notifies the US Embassy, and former FBI profiler Hugo Marston is dispatched to investigate.
Almost immediately, the stakes are raised from surveillance to murder when the hotel employee who appears to be responsible for bugging Hancock’s suite is found dead. The next day, a salacious video clip explodes across the Internet, showing the author in the embrace of one of her writing students—both are naked, and nothing is left to the imagination.
As more bodies pile up, the list of suspects narrows; but everyone at the Sorbonne Hotel has something to hide, and no one is being fully honest with Hugo. He teams up with Lieutenant Camille Lerens to solve the case, but a close call on the streets of Paris proves that he could be the killer’s next target.
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About the author
Mark Pryor is the author of the Hugo Marston novels The Bookseller, The Crypt Thief, The Blood Promise, The Button Man, The Reluctant Matador, and The Paris Librarian, as well as the novels Hollow Man and Dominic. He has also published the true-crime book As She Lay Sleeping. A native of Hertfordshire, England, he is an assistant district attorney in Austin, Texas, where he lives with his wife and three children. Connect with Mark at markpryorbooks.com
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