A Death in Valencia

A Death in Valencia

Book - 2012
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Tackling frustrating challenges in the form of a chef's murder, local political uprisings, and plans to demolish a colorful fisherman's quarter, detective Max Cámara stumbles into a web of corruption that forces him to question his own doubts and desires.
Publisher: New York : Minotaur Books, 2012
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780312581848
031258184X
Branch Call Number: Mystery Web
Characteristics: 216 p. : 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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