historical-fiction, mystery-thriller, war, spies, revenge, published-2006
Read in February, 2009
A wonderful read, and so interesting from a historical point of view. Need to gen up on Kim Philby now.
I have indulged in too much fast and over the top fiction recently so this is a breath of fresh air where a mature and competent writer is feeding us a mature and competent read.
I inadvertently left my current reads at the shoppe so have opened this up to dig into this evening *rubs handies together*....Continua
One should never buy a book because of comments on the back cover like "if you liked... you'll love this book"! Buying "Winter in Madrid" I violated this basic rule and - obviously - I was disappointed. The back cover comment suggested a comparison with "The Shadow of the Wind", but the only analogy between the two books is their Spanish setting... Far from being captivating as Zafon's, Sansom's plot is slow and muddled and appears as a badly-dosed mixture of potentially tasty ingredients such as political conspiracies, spying and romance. It took me a while to finish the novel (and many times I was on the verge of laying it aside) and when I finally reached its end, it left an unpleasant taste in my mouth, as usually failed cooking experiments do....Continua
I just loved this book. It is a magnificent story about life in Spain in 1940 after the Civil War. At the same time as being a spy story it paints a picture of starving people struggling to make ends meet, as Franco deliberates as to whether he should enter the war raging in Europe on Hitler's side or stay neutral. The central character is Harry Brett, a victim of the retreat of the British at Dunkirk, and rescued back to England. He is suffering still mentally, having flash-backs, but physically better. He is asked, because he speaks Spanish and knows Spain, to become a spy for Britain, working in the British Embassy under the guise of a translator. He agrees. His mission is to befriend an old school friend and get information from him about the business deals - believed to be somewhat of a shady nature - and inform his masters at the Embassy. He is reluctant but agrees. But things get very complicated and he finds himself involved with a Spanish woman, an involvement that changes everything.
A brilliant, exciting, well-told story. Characters are superb. The ending is quite a shock - not at all expected. Wonderfully moving story of passion for deeply held beliefs and people....Continua