666 The Beast in Seville,
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This review is from: The Hidden Assassins (Javier Falcon) (Paperback)New York had 9/11; London 7/7 and here after the Madrid train bombs, Seville has its 6/6/6 - coincidence maybe but the 'mark of the beast' goes unremarked upon by any of the characters in the story. 6 June 2006 and a huge explosion destroys an apartment block and nursery school in a poor area of Seville. Falcon rushes to the scene, drawn away from the investigation of a mutilated body just found in a rubbish bin in the centre of the city. There are other connected and incidental violent deaths as story progresses, one of which is just a step removed from Falcon. All of these deaths are connected of course. The seat of the explosion is a basement mosque in the apartment block but who did it? Which shadowy group or groups of conspirators is behind these murders? And what further horror is in store, and can it be stopped? Javier Falcon and his colleagues run on adrenalin and precious little sleep in the peak heat of the summer trying to unravel this mystery.
Now I regret reading this series out of order! I read the final book in the series some months ago and the events of this book are the backdrop to that one. So I knew a bit more than I should have done when I began this book. However as the pace of the investigation picks up I got over my foreknowledge and got carried along by pace of the story telling.
Amidst all this turmoil, Consuela, Falcon's former lover is going through her own personal horrors. This woman has a tough life! This is third book in the Javier Falcon series and poor Consuela goes went through the mill in Book 2 and because I read the books out of order I know she had a very tough time ahead of her in Book 4!
Javier is persuaded to make a daytrip to Morocco to recruit his Moroccan friend Yakoub to spy on alleged jihadists in his mosque. He rapidly begins feeding back intelligence under the wing of the Spanish security machine. There is just enough ambiguity to keep you unsure about whether he's become an agent or double agent or more. This story line is another one to warn you off reading the books out of order!
I have enjoyed the other books I have read by Mr Wilson and this one is quite good too, though I begin with a personal prejudice against a tale centred on a terrorist bomb explosion. It is a raw nerve as far as I am concerned. That personal qualm apart, the rest of the criminality and mayhem in this book is well told and it is a pacey thriller. One final thought - it really is best to read this series in order because the same key people populate the books at least until they come to a sticky end, and takes away just a little of the suspense when you know what's coming to them.