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ADeath in Valencia Paperback – 7 Jun 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Vintage (7 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0701185082
  • ISBN-13: 978-0701185084
  • ASIN: B0092G8MQW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Jason Webster has his finger on the pulse of Spain in the Post-Franco Era and he's detecting a serious arrythmia. A Death In Valencia is a tightly written mystery that you won't want to put down. But it's more than that. Having lived there for months at a time for the past ten years, I can tell you that Webster has captured the variable natures (both traditional and progressive)of modern Spanish life and his prose has helped me to get my head around the compelling attraction that beckons me to return again and again. As a retired cop, I can tell you that he's done a good job of capturing all the cock-blocking that goes on within and between the various police departments. Max Cámara is a competent,complicated protagonist, struggling with his own problems, just like the rest of us and you'll be rooting for him throughout. To sustain all the action, there's women, booze and weed, but most of all there's Paella(and there's "No such thing" as a bad paella. ¡Buen provecho!
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Format: Paperback
A Death in Valencia is the second in the series of crime novels featuring the ever-melancholy Chief Inspector Max Cámara of Valencia's Policía Nacional. The first novel, Or the Bull Kills You, is also an excellent read, and yet a reader can enjoy A Death in Valencia without having read the first installment, a rare treat. After reading the first book, I was more than ready to see what Max Cámara was up to next.
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I do enjoy these books written by someone who knows Spain and Valencia in particular.The story, to me,is probably not as important as the rest of the book.i.e. the history and insight into Spanish social culture.It is interesting to know a bit about the internal workings of a police force,and local politics of a country I have visited often,and love very much.
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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this introduction to an unorthrodox detective (Camarra) who doesn't always play by the rules but solves the case all the same. Nice interplay with his superior who wants rid of him as part of a downsizing exercise. The story reflects the current financial crisis in Spain which brings to the fore and Camarra's attention some very unsavoury and unscrupulous politicians and their extremist supporters. I started with most recent title but have already ordered first 3 titles on Kindle to enjoy the other Camarra stories
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Format: 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.

First impressions

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!
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