Creed, Adam - 'Death in the Sun'
This is the fourth book by the author who is now Head of Writing at Liverpool John Moores University. He previously worked in the City and also wrote in Andalucia in Spain. We know from previous books that Detective Inspector Will Wagstaffe was orphaned along with his sister Marie when their parents were killed by ETA terrorists whilst in Spain. From the compensation, Staffe has purchased a portfolio of properties and is a wealthy man, whereas his sister has squandered her money on drugs. In the previous book Staffe was shot and nearly lost his life. He is now recuperating living near his sister, who has a son and is expecting another child by a Spanish layabout named Paolo. They live in a Spanish village in Almeria.
Staffe has been befriended by a goat-herder called Manolo Cano. Manolo's German mother left hurriedly along with her other son and has never been seen since. His father had a breakdown and now lives in a hospital run by nuns in Granada. Manolo takes Staffe to have his wound dressed at the hospital in the city of Almeria and returns along the coast where a dead body of a man is being studied by police in one of the plastic greenhouses on the beach. Staffe then encounters a journalist Raul Gutierrez, who has obtained the story somehow. Raul used to live in Almagen, the village where Staffe is staying. Other coincidences occur. An American, Jackson Roberts, was close to Manolo's parents as well as an English painter called Barrington. His paintings are collectors' items. Raul is then killed in a suspicious accident whilst driving out of the village. Staffe then learns that Raul knew about his parents and was trying to arrange an interview with the man responsible for their murder. Manolo then vanishes. The local police chief Quesada and the Almeria city's chief of police Sanchez always seem to be aware of developments and Manolo's nephew Jesus is also a city policeman. Back in the UK Staffe's colleague DS Pulford is stalking Jadus Golding the man who shot Staffe. Staffe tries to find out what happened to Raul and discover the whereabouts of Manolo. He soon realises that there is someone determined that he will not succeed.
There is quite a good deal going on both in Spain and England. There is a certain amount of confusion as the author tries to spin his web. Having said that I enjoyed the book, the second I have read by the author and would recommend it, particularly for the description of Moorish Spain as it meets up with modern Spain in a beautiful and fairly unspoilt countryside.
Geoff Jones, England