by Dubois, Brendan

As a successful operative in the criminal underground, the Negotiator has always managed to keep gunplay from any of his deals, but when a highly lucrative secret agreement results in a bloodbath, he is forced to defend himself in a life and death situation.

Brendan DuBois (New Hampshire) is the author of Resurrection Day, the Lewis Cole series, and several other novels. His short stories have been included in several "Best of" anthologies, and have won two Barry Awards and an Al Blanchard Crime Fiction Award. Visit him online at

So, you managed to steal the Mona Lisa from the Louvre. Now what? How do you collect the $800 million the painting is worth without getting every cop in the world down on you? That's a job for the no-name hero of DuBois' new novel, who describes himself as conducting "successful negotiations with a variety of dark characters and shadowy companies." He knows the market value of everything, and, as we join his story, he's facilitating the sale of a stolen Rembrandt for a cute mom-and-pop couple. Gunfire erupts. After escaping, the Negotiator begins his own vengeance ride, seeking to know who's behind the shooting, and then to "put them in body bags." Yes, our hero is a bit of a psychopath, and DuBois tries to soften his edges by giving him a taste for poetry and playful conversation. Unfortunately, this strategy is overutilized, sometimes taking us out of the intensity of the moment, but, in all, there's enough action, plot twists, and betrayals-all rendered in high-energy prose-to keep one stuck to the pages. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

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