ADeath in Valencia Paperback – 7 Jun 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
Crime novels tend to be full of stale concepts and predictable results. Jason Webster has done a tremendous job of creating an original character, with his own strengths and weaknesses, and an ability to place his own personal sense of mistrust into the tasks he performs, in order to see through the many challenges he faces on the streets of Valencia.
Max Cámara is suffering in a number of ways. He is beginning to question his existence - his estrangement with Almudena, and the end of a brief and destructive relationship with Alicia continue to haunt him. When he is faced with investigating the death of paella chef Pep Roures, he finds similarities in the life of the well-respected man and himself. His personal isolation is taking a toll on him, as it did on the life of the man left dumped in the sea. When the investigation is interrupted by the kidnapping of abortionist Sofía Bodí, again he finds his own beliefs affecting the way he feels about the victims and perpetrators of the crimes happening around him. Added the mix is a personal tragedy, a result of negligence and corruption that mar the city he lives in and Cámara finds him more and more following the anti-establishment thoughts of his anarchist grandfather.Read more ›
The main character, Max Camara is of course,deeply flawed and troubled.He has the usual dark past,as yet not fully explained,and the superhero traist that marks him as the only cop who has any idea of how to fight crime.However, he is very likeable, and there is enough black humour and light moments to raise otherwise somber and grisly to a tolerable level.
I do find that the other characters are a bit sketchy,and because the names are Spanish [obviously] I find it a bit difficult to keep track of who is who,particularly those who return after an absence of a few chapters.But that may be my powers of concentration at fault.
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a great crime fiction story located in Valencia. Chief Inspector Max Camara is hunting a murderer who has killed a renowned local paella chef who washed up on the local... Read morePublished 4 months ago by sevenpin
Another superbly crafted book with Chief Inspector Camara
in fine form. This second look at Valentia makes it much more intriguing and makes one want to visit.
just started the series, this being the second novel, couldn't put it down, read it in about three days. on the third now, great reading on my bus journeys !Published 10 months ago by Elizabeth C.
Detective story set in Valencia, Spain. I like the slow development of the detective's character. Hope Mr Webster continues this seriesPublished 12 months ago by Jez
Having been in Valencia and many of the areas mentioned in these books, it is nice to visualise where you are reading about.Published 18 months ago by Elizabeth McLean
First introduction to Max Camara . Well worth another visit.Published 20 months ago by Amazon Customer