- Save 10% on selected children’s books, compliments of Amazon Family Promotion exclusive for Prime members .
After Goya Paperback – 3 May 2011
|New from||Used from|
Special offers and product promotions
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.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
The judgment of a book is always fraught with a reader's own interests, literary taste and biases, of course, and because I like intrigue, Haarlson Phillipps' first novel, After Goya, delivers a good read. It is more than a simple intrigue, however, and with its intelligence and depth of story, will appeal to readers across the thriller genre.
Phillipps has created a story from the simple premise that not all is what it seems and leads the reader through a complex plot against the equal and on-going complexity of the Spanish historical and political scene. A young German woman inherits two painting from her grandfather which are sequestered in Spain and in her rather naïve and innocent attempts to claim them unleashes events involving a local and international cast of characters, solidly built for the most part, along a story path of unexpected plot twists. At the centre of it all is Jordi Cotelo, a policeman of the old school - a Spanish Colombo, if you like, disheveled and plodding and always patting his pockets for his forgotten cell phone. His partner, Jesus Antonio Alvarez, reflects a more modern modus operandi and their relationship provides both tension and insight into the main conflict within the story.
The novel begins with a back-story and both Cotelo and the other main character, the English art expert, James Howard-Graham, also have stories of their own which the author manipulates into believable motives for their actions. And then there is the historical story within the context of the plot and the art interest surrounding the paintings by Goya, all of which add a satisfying density to the story as a whole.
After Goya, which falls into what one critic calls the "literary thriller" genre is original in its theme, coherent in its writing, with good descriptions of place and character and delivers appealingly cinematic actions scenes. In this first novel, Haarlson Phillipps has done very well. The book is not without its weaknesses, of course. Perhaps too much time is spent on minor characters and the breaks within the chapters can be confusing. And I'm not crazy about the title, which can have a dual meaning, but all in all, After Goya is good reading and I recommend the book.
Cotelo himself is a thinking person's Columbo, dishevelled and disrespectful, with a keen nose for human nature. But he also has political and literary sensibilities, a dark back story, and a dash of sex appeal thrown in for good measure.
For many English readers, this novel will introduce them to an unfamiliar Spain. The traumas and divisions of the civil war still lie just beneath the surface even today. This dark tale of simple greed and complicated historical and political motivations places the reader firmly in that divided society.
As a page-turning thriller with the added richness of literary, artistic and historical settings, this was a very satisfying read.
If the book has flaws it is in the fact that I found the narrative difficult to follow at times - mainly because of the sheer volume of historical references and the many organisations (past and present) mentioned in the book. Overall though I found it to be an enjoyable and informative read and I'd happily recommend it.