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Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short but Absorbing Police Procedural in a Spanish Setting, 15 Sept. 2012
This review is from: ADeath in Valencia (Paperback)
A Death in Valencia is a well written police procedural with a number of features which rank it well above the average offering in this genre. Max Camera is an interesting and complex character as the lead detective, and early in the book it is clear that the worrying cracks appearing on the walls in his apartment are mirroring similarly worrying cracks in his rather muddled personal and professional life. The Valencian setting for this story, which is extremely well described by the author, provides both a colourful and distinctive backdrop. The other element which permeates the whole of this tale is the degree of corruption and double dealing in the public life of Valencia and which seems to intrude on all aspects of the work of the police and the local government.

The book starts with the discovery of the floating corpse of a missing and renowned local paella chef, Pepe Roures. Paella is taken very seriously in Valencia so Pepe, who has been vigorously campaigning to save the ancient fishing quarter, El Cabanyal, from the developers is very well known locally. Whilst motives are at first not obvious to Camera, there is a further crime with the kidnapping of a pro abortion clinician shortly before the visit by the pope. Camera begins to see possible connections between these two crimes.

This is the second book featuring Max Camera, but this story can be read on a standalone basis without the reader feeling that they are missing essential background information. The plot is quite complex and interesting and towards the end the pace of the plot speeds up so that this ends up as something of a page turner. Personally I had a certain amount of difficulty keeping up with the individual characters, as they have authentic Spanish names and I had to keep thinking back as to exactly how they fitted in. However, it is difficult to see how this could have been avoided.

So to summarise, this is a relatively short but very absorbing tale which most readers will enjoy.
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