A Review of The Bookseller by C Robert Cales

George and Elizabeth Saunders are a loving middle-aged couple who own a bookstore called The Bookseller, that specializes in rare and high priced books. Frank is their long-time best friend who is ready to leave his life as an undertaker and finally retire. Jimmy Vigers is a small town man with big dreams. Sally Ashley is his best friend and waitress at the local tavern in the small town where John Stoner shows up to run a project to clear land and tear down the local haunted house to make way for a mall. Carlos Ramirez is a man that harbors the purest evil that can exist. He is a man that has lived many lives over many thousands of years. This is the story of how their lives are interconnected and come together to destroy the ultimate evil.
This book starts out with a really strong opening opening. The character development is really good, allowing the reader to get to know and empathize with the various characters and situations. The most enjoyable parts of the story is when Carlos talks about his various reincarnations and when the author discusses George and Elizabeth’s relationship, which is more real than the others in the book. The descriptions of the rare books are beautiful and definitely appeal to book lovers. The author is also very adept at describing the misery and desperation of loss and pulls you into the emotion of the story.
The biggest problem with the story is that after the strong opening it doesn’t really pick back up until about three-quarters of the way through. There is nothing appealing about Carlos Ramirez as the main antagonist. He’s so wrapped up in the business of the Mexican drug cartel that there’s not much build-up action leading most of the story to fall flat. The supernatural elements are few and far between and very weak. Most of the relationships built in the story feel very forced and rushed and with perspective jumping between so many different characters it is a lot of repetition of events leading the story to feel wordy.
It is a story written word for people who enjoy crime drama than paranormal aspects. I would give this one a 3 out of 5.

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