Learn more Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Click Here Shop Kindle Amazon Music Unlimited for Family Shop now Shop Women's Shop Men's



on 2 April 2013
I read this following Sansom's most recent book Dominion. Sansom is a very good writer and he puts together an interesting page turner here based I am sure on lots of historic and cultural research.

I had an attempt to read Anthony Beevor's Battle for Spain and gave up.This book has inspired me to finish off Beevor so I can understand more about the very complex state of Franco's Spain. Sansom paints a picture of a very bleak Spain in 1940.

I did not give it 5 stars as I would for Dominion because this book does not pose the sort of questions that Sansom does in the later book about how we Brits would respond to Fascist rule. This book is a thriller, out and out, it does stir thoughts as to what life in Spain might have been like at that time but it does not cause the reader the discomfort I had with Dominion.

There are times when I thought the characters were stereotypes and he drops in bits of Spanish that seem clumsy but I read it beside a swimming pool and it is just the the sort of book to take on holiday.

He eschews a happy ending which might have been a possibility when he drafted the story.If the book ever got optioned by Hollywood I am sure they might take that course but this is what makes Sansom different.

I enjoyed it.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 19 September 2013
Sansom is the creator of the highly enjoyable Shardlake books but this is an altogether more sombre work. During WW2, a group of English people are in Madrid for a variety of reasons and the Civil War and its aftermath are seen through their eyes. In the first part, the author develops his characters convincingly, and also expands on his theme of how war affects ordinary people. I think this section could be pared down quite a bit, especially the dialogue. A lot of space is given to characters telling each other what the reader already knows.
The second half is more of a thriller and there are some incredibly tense moments as well as surprising plot twists. However, I agree with the posters who thought the end was unconvincing. It might have been OK for a straightforward thriller, but not for a serious and well-researched book.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 4 June 2017
A part of history I've never studied before, just after the Spanish revolution and in the midst of the second World War. The characters are slightly pastiche and lack a little credibility, but still a good adventure and an eye-opener of a very difficult time for Spain and its people.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 6 August 2017
Gripping and with this author's attention to historical detail, informative about the post Spanish revolution reign of terror by the Franco fascist dictatorship.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 2 November 2015
Without a doubt one of the best books I've read this year.. Atmospheric fictional description of the sadness of the Spanish Civil War seen through the eyes of the participants, both Spanish and foreign.. Recommended
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 May 2017
Almost as good as the Shardlake series, but this might be unfair. Shardlake grew on you over five long books and of course the reader became intimate with the personality. However, this is another great historical novel.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 2 June 2017
The standard and pace I always expect from C.J. Sansom. I am 65, just too young to know much about the Spanish conflicts and found the levels of information skilfully woven in with a strong and clever storyline both interesting and compelling.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 January 2011
I must confess that I have read and enjoyed all the Shardlake books written by this author, but wondered if a story from such a different period would work. No need to worry, I could not put it down. A very good read, the period and background is done very well and easily up there will all the Shardlake books.

I can highly recommend this as a very good read.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 30 October 2014
A very compelling book which I read almost at one sitting. The characters are very finely drawn and the action drew me in completely. I was devastated by the outcome of the escape plot. I, do wish Sansom would allow his characters. a little more happiness, but that would be less dramatic I suppose.p o
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 8 October 2017
good book
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse