Historic buildings in charming old neighborhoods are being demolished to make way for charmless new construction. An apartment building collapses, killing people, because of new subway construction and shoddy building practices. A famous abortionist is kidnapped. A great paella chef is murdered. And the Pope is coming to Valencia for a visit just to make life even more difficult for politicians and cops.
And we're counting on Chief Inspector Max Cámera to solve the crimes and make everything okay. But he's got his own problems -- marijuana dependency, anger management issues, relationship issues, enemies in high places, and lots more.
Cámera's head is stuffed full of Spanish proverbs, which are a comfort to him and amusing to the reader. Despite the depth of Cámera's woes and the seriousness of the crimes he's determined to solve, there is quite a bit of humor in this book - the lively, generally profane dialog between cops; irreverent remarks about the Pope among cops and citizens; the murderously hot Valencian weather that keeps Max sweaty and confused; and the amazing importance of paella in the lives of Valencians.
There's a tense chase scene at the end. Max Cámera enjoys a good fight, and prefers his fists to his gun.
This novel, besides being a good detective story, presents a fascinating picture of life and politics in Valencia. Webster is no mere genre writer. His prose style is deft and vibrant, and he knows how to make a scene come alive.
I'd suggest reading the preceding novel first (Or the Bull Kills You). Max Camera's complex personality deserves a long series, so you might want to start at the beginning.
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: VINTAGE ARROW - MASS MARKET; 1 edition (15 July 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0099546957
- ISBN-13: 978-0099546955
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 2 x 19.8 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 222 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 452,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)