THE SENTINEL FACEBOOK PAGE: http://www.facebook.com/#!/MarkOldfieldSentinel
'The Sentinel' is also available in Italian as 'Quindici Cadaveri' and in Spanish as 'Muerte en Madrid.'
Shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for best thriller of 2013
The Judges said: "A very dark and chilling account of Spain under Franco, this novel is intensely atmospheric and a truly substantial work."
"A remarkably accomplished and interesting debut.." -Literary Review.
"Superbly told... a remarkable first thriller that bodes exceptionally well for Oldfield's future' The Daily Mail.
Hello, thanks for stopping by to check out my book 'The Sentinel,' a dark noir thriller set in Madrid. I'm Mark Oldfield and I'm a writer and freelance criminologist with a long standing passion for Spain and all things Spanish(and Basque).
I first visited Spain in 1976. I loved it so much,I became a regular visitor. The years following Franco's death in 1975 saw a transition from Dictatorship to Democracy in Spain and I witnessed at first hand the brutality of the police and security forces against protesters in the Basque country.
A few years later, when I went to work in Spain, I became fascinated by the lingering echoes of the Civil War that still resonated as the country moved toward democracy. As a result, I began to study the Civil War and the years of dictatorship that followed. 'The Sentinel' reflects some aspects of the dark history of the years of Franco's dictatorship.
If you don't like scenes of violence then this book probably isn't for you.
***************** About 'The Sentinel' *********************************
The 'Sentinel' is the first volume in the 'Vengeance of Memory' trilogy and is a dark tale of corruption, deceipt and lies.
Sentinel isn't a history book but many of the things in it are based on real events. The main character, Comandante Leo Guzman is loosely based on a Spanish major who Franco used to spread terror through his murderous actions. The Spanish Civil War and the years of Franco's long dictatorship were marked by remarkable cruelty and violence and I have tried to portray that whilst still providing an interesting plot.
In 2009, on a blazing summer's day in hills near Madrid, Ana María Galindez, a Guardia Civil forensic scientist examines what she thinks is just another Civil War grave. What she finds there will change her life forever. Fifteen bodies are hidden in an abandoned mine shaft. The killings took place sometime in the early 1950s and the identity of the suspected murderer is revealed to Galindez by Profesora Luisa Ordoñez, the pretentious and wordy academic whose team discovered the bodies. The killer's name: Comandante Leo Guzmán.
Ana Maria is an amnesiac who lost all memory of her childhood when, at the age of 8, she witnessed the car bombing that killed her Civil Guard father. Her father was a hero in the Guardia, so much so that her life in the force is dogged by the fact that she is always 'Miguel's daughter, never just the woman from forensics.'
Galindez is determined to honour her father's memory by carving out a career for herself in the Guardia but it isn't easy. Until now, she has been given the routine work examining and cataloguing war graves. That's about to change.
Intrigued by the lack of knowledge of why Guzmán disappeared in 1953, Ana Maria becomes obsessed with tracking down this shadowy killer. As she investigates, she disturbs things which have lain dormant for almost sixty years. Things so toxic and compromising that those concerned will stop at nothing to destroy them - and her.
Ana María Galindez starts the story as a woman who does things by the book. As she doggedly pursues Guzmán, she finds she must abandon the rule book and fight for her life.
When she begins her investigation, Ana María doesn't know how deadly Guzmán could be.
She's about to find out.
And, if you read the book, so are you.