This was the first of Webster’s detective series about Max Cámara which I have read, but it’s not the first in the series. It’s the third, but this turned out not to be a problem, I didn’t feel a lack of back-story.
The story was interesting enough, two strands combining a saffron scam and unearthing the truth about Max’s great-grandfather in the Spanish Civil war [not much of a surprise that, for an author who has written non-fiction about the war]. But there was something missing, for me, something I couldn’t put my finger on. The plot was fine, the history was fine and no doubt accurately portrayed. It was only when I finished the book and described it to my husband that I realized what my difficulty was: Max is a Spanish character, written by an Englishman. Albeit an Englishman who lives in Spain, is married to a Spaniard and who speaks the language fluently. But still, not a Spaniard. I’d expected more, well, ‘Spanish-ness’.
I can see a TV series here, along the lines of Falcón based on Robert Wilson’s Seville detective Javier Falcón. I can picture the scene in the saffron village in La Mancha, very photogenic. Jason Webster [below] will write a rich series of Max Cámara novels, I’m sure.For more about Jason Webster’s other novels including non-fiction books about Spain, click here.
To read my review of the first Max Cámara novel, Or the Bull Kills You, click here.
To read the second, A Death in Valencia, click here.
And the fourth, Blood Med, click here.
‘The Anarchist Detective’ by Jason Webster [pub in the UK by Vintage]