Customer Review

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intellectual whodunit, 20 Nov. 2008
This review is from: Blood Wedding (Hardcover)
This first novel is a moderately intellectual whodunit with an ambitious scope. During a recent Spanish general election campaign, Granada detective Max Romero investigates the death of a Muslim student who was researching the unexplained betrayal and death of the poet Lorca in the Spanish Civil War. The backdrop is Granada and its hinterland, the homeground of Romero's own friends and family, where a residential centre for young Muslim entrepreneurs has just been set up. All play their part.

What with cultural and ethnic tensions, the legacy of a civil war, and the repercussions of the "war on terror", It sounds a recipe for intricate plotting and wooden characters. But that is not what happens: the book is a compelling read. Having said that I'm not quite sure why. There's not a great deal of action, the Granada weather and townscape -- and the cast's copious intake of drink and food -- are recorded in great detail, and I had to work hard on what makes Romero tick. Nevertheless the narrative is finely paced, the people, from redneck cops to pious extremists, do come alive, and there's a sting or two in the tail.

If you like Fred Vargas' commissaire Adamsberg thrillers, this will probably appeal.

The reality test will probably come with the sequel -- there has to be one, the jacket already talks of the "Max Romero novels"!
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3.9 out of 5 stars (36 customer reviews)
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