Saturday, September 22, 2018

The Negotiator by Brendan DuBois

Loved this book. Loved the main character, the unnamed narrator. There. That's out of the way. Brendan Dubois' character, The Negotiator, reminded me a little of Lee Child's Jack Reacher. The book also reminded me a little of one of my favorite books about a con man, Stephen Cannell's King Con. This isn't one of those novels with an unreliable narrator. Just because the Negotiator is on the shady side doesn't mean he's lying to the reader. However, there are plenty of other unreliable characters in the book.

The Negotiator admits he chose the dark path in life. He has an uncanny gift. He can look at a priceless book, jewels, a painting, and tell what they're worth. So he acts as a go-between in negotiations between parties who don't trust each other, for a price. He does have three rules. No drugs. No human beings (no human or sex trafficking) deals. He won't do anything that he feels is against the best interests of the United States.

With one job, though, the Negotiator gets a little careless. He usually doesn't agree to meet at private homes. But he and his employee accept one job, meeting at a house to examine a painting. There's trouble; shots fired; and everything goes wrong. The negotiator is forced to exit through a window. Now, he has to examine what happened while he plans his revenge.

Women, the FBI, guns, violence. They all come into play as the Negotiator is blocked every step of his way. But, there's a wonderful ending with multiple twists in this fast-paced novel.

Fan of a lovable antihero? If you appreciate stories with non-stop action and twists, stories of carefully plotted revenge, try Brendan Dubois' The Negotiator.


This is not really part of the review, but the following short excerpt is one more reason I love the Negotiator character. He regularly uses small town public libraries. In the following, he and Carla, an FBI agent, have stopped at a library to do some research. (Please excuse the incorrect use of quotations marks. I'm just going to quote the text as written.)

"A helpful male librarian...directed Carla and I (sic) to the banks of the computers, and as we sat down, Carla said, "What a waste of space."

"Say again?"
"All these old books, all these crowded shelves."..."Everything out there can be scanned and stored."
"Then what? An EMP pulse, a screw-up in some computer file, or a zombie apocalypse later, these books will still be patiently waiting on shelves, waiting to be read. What do you think of when I say the word archipelago?"
The keyboard tapping went on. "You haven't said that word."
"I just did."
"All right, I suppose Indonesia. Or the Philippines. Or maybe the old Soviet prison system."
"Extra points for the Gulag reference, Carla. When I think of archipelago, I think of all these hundreds of libraries, spread across the country, all of them a little island of knowledge. Each existing by themselves, each connected to each other."

I love The Negotiator. Thank you, Brendan DuBois.

Brendan DuBois' website is

The Negotiator by Brendan DuBois. Midnight Ink, 2018. ISBN 9780738754017 (paperback), 295p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I received this book to review for a journal.


Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Excellent. Love the library interchange too. I got an email this morning that this is waiting for me to pick it up at the library, but I'm going to wait a week because of the huge backlog of books I already have.

Charlotte said...

My library doesn't even have it listed. That is my library for you.

Sounds like a good book to read.
I will wait awhile and see if the book is added. I have plenty to read of course so what is one miss book at this time.

Lesa, good review as usual.

Lesa said...

I knew some of the blog readers would appreciate that library conversation, Jeff. I can't ever say anyone will enjoy a book as much as I did, but I hope you enjoy it when you pick it up.

Lesa said...

You're right, Charlotte. What is just one book missed? Thank you!

Hugs! Have a good Saturday.

Gram said...

I found it on my library site and added it to my list..I hope to get to it someday..Loved the Library scene and fully agree with him.

Lesa said...

Wasn't that a great scene, Gram? He's just a wonderful character.