Top critical review
Winter in Madrid
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.