A Death in Valencia

A Death in Valencia

Book - 2012 | First U.S. edition.
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A Death in Valencia is the electrifying second Max Cámara Valencian crime novel from Jason Webster, author of Or the Bull Kills You .

Max Cámara is feeling low. Ominous cracks have appeared in the walls of his flat; the body of a well-known paella chef has been washed up on the beach; there are rows and threats about abortion clinics in anticipation of the Pope's visit to Valencia; and Town Hall officials are set on demolishing El Cabanyal, the colorful fisherman's quarter on Valencia's seafront. As Cámara untangles these threads, he stumbles into a web of corruption and violence, uncovering deep animosities and hidden secrets, and forcing him to question his own doubts and desires.

This is the second novel in Webster's dark and witty series, following his widely praised debut, Or the Bull Kills You . The plot is fast and twisting, the scene-setting vivid, and the atmosphere powerfully authentic. Starring the determined Cámara, with his love of flamenco and brandy, and occasional doped-out high, A Death in Valencia delves into issues that rouse unruly passions and divide the Spanish people today.

Publisher: New York : Minotaur Books, [2012]
Edition: First U.S. edition.
Copyright Date: ?2012
ISBN: 9780312581848
Branch Call Number: WEB
Characteristics: 216 pages :,map ;,22 cm


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branch_reviews Nov 03, 2012

The story in the book is not atypical. It deals with a murder and a kidnapping and both are solved at the end. However, I found the setting and the "voice" of the author to be not the typical British or North American voice. The protagonist, Max Camara, is a middle-aged man with his demons. A restaurant owner is murdered. The search for the killer gets Max involved in sifting through municipal politics in Valencia. The kidnapping gets him involved in national politics and the historic conflict between church and state in Spain. He encounters resistance from his superiors who have something to hide. The resolution is not entirely happy. In general, I find that some European writers, particularly Spanish writers, have a much more honest approach in describing their characters. There isn't the bravado encountered in books such as the Reacher series (although I enjoy Reacher). All the characters are very human. Camara feels deeply when one of his neighbours and her infant son are killed in an avoidable accident. Two women from his past reappear, but, again, the relationships are honest. It's hard for me to describe exactly what makes these books seem different to me, but they do. I have read quite a few of the Hispanic authors, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jose Saramago among them, and they all seem to have that "feel" to them. Reviewed by NT

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