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A Very Private Gentleman by Martin Booth
A Very Private Gentleman is known to the residents of a quaint southern Italian village as Signor Farfalla, Mr. Butterfly, a genteel Englishman who's career appears to be traveling the world to paint butterflies. What the locals don't know is that Signor Farfalla really makes weapons for assassins. While his own rationalization is that he just supplies the weapons, he can be ruthless in protecting his identity. Wanting to complete one last assignment before retiring for good, he becomes aware of a "shadow dweller," his name for those on either side of the law who've come looking to expose or destroy him. Martin Booth has created a character filled with self-doubt about his efforts, yet struggling to maintain a life of honor and dignity with his own rationalizations. Originally released in the UK in 1991, A Very Private Gentleman has received mostly positive reviews with the Denver Post saying, "The cat-and-mouse game as the shadow dweller closes in on his prey is as exciting as from any thriller writer out there. But it is Booth's intimate portrayal of his protagonist that makes the novel one to savor."
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