Webster, Jason - 'A Death in Valencia'
A hot summer in Valencia, Spain. A missing paella chef from the El Cabanyal district is found murdered. Chief Inspector Max Camara and his colleagues have problems, besides this tricky murder there is an imminent visit by the Pope as well as feelings running high as the El Cababyal district is due to be bulldozed.
Camara is still affected by his splitting with ex-partner Almudena and his brief affair with the journalist Alicia and her decision to abort their child. He is unhappy in his apartment with cracks appearing as well as damp. The noise and pollution levels are high as the authorities are extending the Metro. But disaster is about to happen with tragic consequences. Camara's apartment block collapses leaving him homeless.
With his private life in turmoil, an abortionist - Sofia Bodi is kidnapped, seemingly by the Guardia Civil! Her clinic is under investigation, but no one is owning up to the kidnapping. With Camara's enemy Maldonado being in charge of this case, Camara tries to make himself scarce, with his police partner Paco Torres trying to cover for him, and Camara's long suffering boss - Pardo trying to keep the peace.
This is the second book featuring Max Camara. It brings to life Valencian living, evoking the people, the food, the drink and most of all the atmosphere. It touches on how life has evolved since Franco; how the army and the church still want to control the people. It tries to explain GAL, the anti terrorist group, and ETA, and all that they stand for and how socialism struggles to gain a foothold.
This is turning into a good series. Well written, fairly graphic in parts but enjoyable. Highly recommended, my only criticism being that at 214 pages it is much slimmer than its predecessor OR THE BULL KILLS YOU.
Geoff Jones, England