21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifuly, exotic and shocking thriller
This novel by the award-winning author of A Small Death in Lisbon, appears to have much going for it. The first draw is its rather curious title, the second is its exotic setting, Seville, Spain. Plus, the plot itself sounds rather fascinating…
Thursday 12th of April, and a leading restaurateur is found slain in his home. Tied to a chair in front his TV, he has...
Published on 22 Feb 2004 by RachelWalker
3.0 out of 5 stars Tour Guide to A Death
Fascinating detail--people, places, local geography. Personal relationships, especially concerning Xavier's deceased father, slow the development of the tale which, after all, is a murder investigation. Well-written but I did skim-read a couple of pages here and there so as to discover who dunnit. A good read for all that.
Published 2 months ago by john mason
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifuly, exotic and shocking thriller,
Thursday 12th of April, and a leading restaurateur is found slain in his home. Tied to a chair in front his TV, he has been forced to view horrifically unendurable images. The horror of these scenes is evidenced by the self-inflicted wounds caused by Raul Jimenez’s desperate struggle not to watch. On top of that, his eyelids have been removed. The normally dispassionate detective Javier Falcon is shocked deeply, and becomes inexplicably frightened by this killer who seems to know, intimately, every single detail of his victim’s life. Never in his career has he confronted a scene so barbaric.
But, for Javier Falcon, the worst is yet to come. Because, in investigating the victim’s complex past, he discovers that it is inextricably connected with that of his own father, world-famous artist Francisco Falcon. The case eventually becomes not just a hunt for a killer clearly prepared to strike again, but a voyage of discovery for Falcon as he, through Francisco’s previously hidden journals, learns much about his father’s past and the dark secrets it hides…
This story, told through the dual narratives of fascinating diary extracts and standard third-person narration, is told expertly. Even though the first hundred pages or so grow slightly dull at times, and it takes a while to settle all the numerous characters in your mind, the pace soon picks up as we learn that the case has as much to do with the past as it does the present. The setting is described wonderfully, and the city of Seville is really brought to life, shimmering with vitality. I might even recommend this book for the setting alone.
The Blind Man of Seville contains the most beautifully realised, brilliantly sustained psychological portrait I have read in years. The lead character, Javier Falcon, is unendingly fascinating and gloriously chilly. The reader cannot help but care and get a little worried as his mental health gently seems to decline as he desperately tries to hold everything together in the face of affecting revelations concerning his present and past. When those revelations finally fully come to light near the finish, it is with a great sense of shock on the reader’s part. Indeed, the final hundred pages are absolutely wonderful, when everything falls into place and the reader realises the scale of what is being revealed.
This book is a brilliant, gritty thriller, and I’d recommend it highly. The writing quality is very good, but the prose itself doesn’t exactly sing. Instead, it has a rather detached coolness that fits surprisingly well. Part tense, exotic thriller, part examination of the effects of the past on the present, and part novel of ideas and of the natural of true art, I’d give this one a big thumbs up. A warning, though: if you don’t like brutality, this may not be for you.
(This book was well-and-truly ROBBED of the CWA Gold Dagger last year, an award it deserved without reservationg.)
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Complex, overlong but occasionally brilliant thriller,
Upside: intriguing setting, well-written. Downside: feels rather long.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, haunting book,
This review is from: The Blind Man of Seville (Hardcover)This is the first Robert Wilson novel I have read - and I am so impressed with the talent of this author.
What on the surface appears to be a run of the mill detective-hunts-psycho-killer novel , becomes something different, evocative, compelling, beautiful.
The book begins with a particularly savage murder, which homicide detective Javier Falcon is brought in to investigate. He finds that the murder ignites something within him, when he discovers that the murdered man was in Tangiers during the 40s & 50s when his own father (a respected painter) was in the city too.
What unravels is a deep tortuous look at his own family and past, where discomforting truths are revealed and Falcon has to re-assess who he really is....
This book will haunt you long after you finish it - yes the murder is brutal and there are scenes and perversions that may be upsetting to some - but it really makes you use that little bundle of grey cells you have. What do we base our lives upon? If everything that we come to believe in turns out to be false, where does that leave us? Do we truly know our own parents? or do we just accept the facet of their lives that they choose to show to us?
This wonderful introspection, complete with the evocative descriptions of life in Seville - makes this a cut above ordinary crime thrillers and a gem of a book just waiting to be found - if, of course, you dare enter.....
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good read.,
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There are none so blind......,
Mr Wilson is not a writer for the squeamish, but having just finished Anthony Beevor's "Stalingrad" I could only approve of the way in which he described the reality of the father's experience.What turns men into beasts? What turns artists into thieves? What do penance and pardon mean. These are some of the questions asked in the midst of death and betrayal in beautiful Seville.This is a dense and difficult book, but written admirably in dense and dark prose.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We are Blind until the Light is Revealed,
It has the rare and rather endearing ability that eludes most authors - to draw the reader in completely to the point where we feel and breathe and taste the world that our protagonists inhabit.
We accompany the main character Inspector Jefe Javier Falcon as he descends in to a spectacular personal breakdown, all laid bare on the pages of Wilson's novel as murders occur in the Garden City of Seville.
What makes this stand out from other who-dunnits is the flashbacks that Wilson has laced the text with. This in itself, very obviously, is nothing new, but it is the power and insight that the flashbacks allow us in to the life of Javier's deceased father and Javier's origins, that make this unique.
I found myself suspended from other aspects of my life, rapt under the spell that the words cast upon me. I empathised with Falcon to the point of true emotion, feeling crushed, elated, horrified and adrift in turn.
Infact, i found the work so masterful that i think about it even today, a year after reading - and here i am, writing this review.
Need i say anymore in recommendation?
5.0 out of 5 stars Blind Man of Seville,
This review is from: The Blind Man of Seville (Paperback)Book was in very good condition, story was even better.
Robert Wilson is a brilliant writer. The stories grip you to the last page.
3.0 out of 5 stars Tour Guide to A Death,
This review is from: The Blind Man of Seville (Kindle Edition)Fascinating detail--people, places, local geography. Personal relationships, especially concerning Xavier's deceased father, slow the development of the tale which, after all, is a murder investigation. Well-written but I did skim-read a couple of pages here and there so as to discover who dunnit. A good read for all that.
5.0 out of 5 stars Not read it yet,
This review is from: The Blind Man of Seville (Kindle Edition)Not read it yet but loved TV series so will enjoy book better. Yet to read as I bought this from a book buying spree which I occasionally do. Too easy with one click
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and set in the most beutiful city in the world,
This review is from: The Blind Man of Seville (Paperback)Loved the book hated the TV series. The book is excellent and I was so sorry that the series adapted from the book was such a disappointment with mediocre acting
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The Blind Man of Seville by Robert Wilson (Paperback - 6 Aug 2009)