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Multi-tasking, when there is murder, a kidnaping and the Popes visiting,
This review is from: A Death in Valencia: (Max Cámara 2) (Paperback)
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Tight plotting, rich atmospherics, and an charmingly flawed lead distinguish Mr Webster's second outing in this contemporary mystery set in Valencia, Spain (after The Bull Kills You).
The over view;
Seven days after popular paella chef Pep Roures disappears, Chief Insp. Max Cámara, helps fish the chef's body out of the water off the port city. The following autopsy reveals that Roures drowned after being stabbed from behind. Roures was generally admired for his gastronomic ability, but he was a vocal adversary of the local government's plan for the so called `revitalization of the area' where his restaurant was located. As Cámara's investigations are just getting underway, he suffers an unsettling personal tragedy that forces him to shift his focus. He soon has a kidnapping to factor in as well as security safeguards for the imminent visit of the pope. Hence there is an undercurrent of downheartedness, as Cámara finds himself in conflict with the powers-that-be.
At just over 200 pages, this novel is not overly long, that said you might finding yourself having to backtrack several times to understand the latest "newest twist" in the narrative. I found I got a very good sense of Valencia; Spain in the reading of this book but I found that I was reminded of Andrea Camilleri's Italy and his Inspector Montalbano. While Max Camara Montalbano is a darker and more "political" character, the similarity, here was his impatience with the bureaucracy and impudent attitude was the same as Montalbano's. Both Montalbano & Camara share the same disposition for gastronomic delights, wine and women.
In conclusion then, one gets a very good story full of twists and turns, there are likeable and unlikeable characters, and a good sense of contemporary Spanish life. An enjoyable read!