Book review: Blood Med

blood med by jason webster 14-5-14Page one, Spain waits, the king lies dying. There is the feeling of a nation on the edge. In Valencia, there are homeless on the street, immigrants are being harassed, the police department faces cutbacks despite rumblings of public unrest, and there are not enough drugs for the sick.

Blood Med is the fourth in the Cámara Valencia-based detective series by Jason Webster [below]. There are two deaths and Cámara and his colleague Torres are given one case each, the hidden agenda is that one of the two men must be made redundant. One death is suspected suicide, the other a brutal murder. In the way of crime fiction, you know there will be a connection but that connection is of course invisible at the beginning.

[photo: Mark Pringle]

[photo: Mark Pringle]

The detective, orphaned young and raised by his grandfather, now lives in Valencia with elderly Hilario plus Max’s girlfriend, journalist Alicia. Both Hilario and Alicia have key roles in this story. Hilario is a huge influence on Max’s approach to life, and he often recalls his grandfather’s fondness for proverbs when he finds himself in a sticky situation. ‘Visteme despacio que tengo prisa’ he tells himself when he feels the investigation is being rushed. It translates as ‘Dress me slowly, I’m in a rush’. He feels the investigation has tunnel vision; that it is being rushed and would benefit from a step back. “If he could have his way he would send everyone home for the rest of the day to switch off. Go to the beach, go wherever. And have sex – with someone else if possible. If not, whatever. If helped clear the mind.”



This is the most accomplished Cámara novel so far, the setting in Valencia [above] is so strong and the political background feels very real. The ‘corralito’ described [the government decree to close the banks] feels very real. There are a lot more stories to come in Max Cámara’s Valencia.

For more about Jason Webster’s novels and non-fiction books about Spain, click here.
For information about visiting Valencia, click here.
Watch out for my reviews of the other three novels in the Max Cámara series, coming here soon.
‘Blood Med’ by Jason Webster [published in the UK on June 5, 2014 by Vintage]

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