The Spanish Helmet Paperback – 8 Jul 2011
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
About the Author
Greg Scowen is a New Zealand born author, living in Switzerland with his wife and daughter. He recently turned down placement offers for post-graduate studies in archaeology, and instead works as a web developer for Switzerland's largest library, the ETH-Bibliothek. In his spare time, Greg is completing a librarianship master's degree from Northumbria University and enjoys landscaping his gardens.
Top customer reviews
I loved the way Scowen blended together the "known" and the theoretical in creating this realistically paced thriller. He wasted little of his wide cultural experiences either, as he even weaves in some recently acquired knowledge of Switzerland.
I include here a paragraph of background to help those unfamiliar with New Zealand gain a feel for this book's foundations. I would be distressed by the opinion that any of this is anywhere near being a spoiler. There were quite possibly some "fair-skinned tribes" in NZ before "discovery" by the Dutch and English. There are all sorts of diverse and variably weak bits of real evidence for such a theory. Timelines are very unclear. This is unsurprising considering that so much of what we do know comes from the oral histories of the Maori, and from a strange mix of singularly inconsequential archaeological inconsistencies and theories. However, Scowen has used a nice mix of what I assume are genuine, though perhaps minority, Maori tribal memories and the thin presently available archaeological evidence to great effect. That in this temperate zone of the southern hemisphere there were "fair" skinned peoples long before the arrival of Europeans seems biologically unsurprising. There is also a probability that a few Europeans arrived well before 18th and 19th Century waves of modern Pakeha. Possibly there were enough whites to have given rise to a small fairer-skinned assimilated population. I was pleased to have this information prior to reading the book, as I'm sure it only added to my rapid immersion in the story.
The mixed bonds and frictions within close and tribal families provide the glue to many aspects of the plot. There is plenty of love, hate and drama to add spice to history and archaeological intrigue. Good, bad and variously flawed individuals experience all the classic ingredients of love, sexual tension, and violence, turning this mix of historical and contemporary fiction into a great read.
The possible voyage of the real San Lesmes and the main character's modern fictional tour of New Zealand may almost have been designed to give NZ Tourism a boost. Scowen's book is very readable. Without a series of inevitable distractions I would have had no trouble in finishing The Spanish Helmet in one read. I look forward to his next book.
Matt Cameron, an archaeologist goes to New Zealand to help a friend with some Celtic coins he found there, and ends up finding family, love, and a whole new theory about the history of that country.
Along the way he meets with plenty of deception and adventure, as well as getting to know New Zealand.
I enjoyed both the story and the descriptions of New Zealand very much!
The pace cracks along to an unexpected finale...won't give the game away!
I thoroughly enjoyed this and would certainly recommend it as a great read.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
What I particularly liked about this book was the fact that it had a plausible plot with normal everyday people.Read more