The Negotiator

The Negotiator

by Brendan DuBois

Overview: The eponymous Negotiator, the narrator of this smooth standalone from DuBois has found a lucrative if dangerous living as a middleman in potentially violent negotiations. A lone operator, he occasionally uses the services of Clarence Briggs as “extra firepower if the circumstances demand it.” Clarence accompanies the Negotiator to Chester, Vt., where George and Beth, a seemingly ordinary elderly couple, have a rare painting to sell to a foreign buyer. But just before the buyer is due to arrive at the couple’s house, George pulls out a gun and shoots Clarence dead. The Negotiator, who manages to escape through a window, shares Sam Spade’s attitude about what to do when your partner is killed—get revenge. The mysterious George has lots of clout, and the Negotiator has to make some exceptionally sharp and unexpected deals in his quest for payback. DuBois wraps up his clever tale with a few nifty twists. Readers will hope for a sequel. (Aug.)

Carole Zwicker (11/21/18): The Negotiator is a successful underground go-between who brings two parties together usually to buy and sell merchandise that would not normally surface otherwise. He works with a partner and they have worked out a system that works well in negotiations. But, a deal goes awry and a death occurs and the negotiator goes on the hunt for the perpetrators to seek revenge for their crimes. This is an effective game of cat-and-mouse which takes him all over the New England states. New characters are added as the story develops, making this novel intriguing. This is an entertaining quick read to be enjoyed by most readers of the mystery genre.
Rating: ****

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