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A Body in Barcelona by Jason Webster
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A Body in Barcelona

by Jason Webster

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A Body in Barcelona – As many twists and turns as Messi

Jason Webster has written the fifth in his Inspector Max Cámara, A Body in Barcelona and once again he brings together many strands of Spanish society to a wider world. This crime thriller has it all, murder, betrayal, revenge and the occasional fascist with a trip across to Ceuta, on the edge of Morocco.

The political tensions are growing once again in Spain, the Catalonians are look for independence and the Madrid government is trying to keep them under control. Memories of the last time this happened was in the 1930s which heralded the start of the civil war and the coming of Franco, the last thing Madrid or those in Brussels want.

Cámara has just returned from a commission in Barcelona investigating the death of a civilian by the police, when he and his colleague Torres are summoned upstairs. They are given a case that has been taken from homicide and given to their new Special Crime Unit to investigate the death of a 10 year old boy found in a shallow grave in orange groves north of Valencia. Where, Fermín the illegitimate son of Alfonso Segarra, the fourth richest man in Spain, has been found and there are very little clues or evidence to help them out.

With seemingly no clues Carlos a member of the CNI offers Cámara the possibility of some information on the crime if they could meet and come to an understanding. Cámara has a problem with this, especially as he is a drug smoking anarchist when outside of work. There is something about Carlos that Cámara is uneasy about throughout the thriller.

The information Carlos provides Cámara will take him to Spain’s dirty little secret, Ceuta, Spain’s very own ‘Gibraltar’ in Morocco to arrest a Colonel Terreros of La Asociación de Ayuda para Legionarios, the Legionarios (elite Spanish soldiers) Welfare Association. The association seems to be a front for a right-wing Franco loving military organisation, fundamentally opposed to the breakup of the Fatherland and allow Catalan independence.

Daniel and his son Dídac organise the anarchists in Valencia and run the food bank that is close to where Cámara has his flat with his partner Alicia. Cámara knows them both well and often attends meetings they hold and eats with them, as he is sympathetic to their politics. When a politician is murdered in Barcelona both Daniel and Dídac head there to take the anarchist fight to the people.

At the same time it seems like there is a connection to Fermín’s murder and Cámara heads to Barcelona to continue his investigation and bring it to a close. Cámara rapidly works out that he is not the most popular police officer in Barcelona but he hopes that he will be able to bring the investigation to a successful conclusion.

A Body in Barcelona is a fast paced thriller that mixes many elements successfully which helps to make it a gripping exploration of the political and social tensions in Spain especially where Catalan Independence is concerned. Webster’s prose is as crisp as an iceberg lettuce and the imagery as clear as a digital picture which helps to make this an excellent thriller any reader will love, especially as there are as many twists and turns as Messi. ( )
  atticusfinch1048 | Aug 3, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0701189398, Hardcover)

Valencian detective Max Camara faces his most complex case yet.
     Tensions in Spain are rising: unemployment remains high and political violence has suddenly reemerged. In Catalonia -- Valencia's neighbour -- plans are afoot to hold a potentially explosive referendum on independence from the rest of Spain. The last time such a proposal was seriously discussed, in the 1930s, the country quickly descended into civil war.
     When the badly decomposed body of a middle-aged woman is found buried among the orange groves to the north of the city, Max is put on the case. But this is no ordinary murder. Behind it, Max uncovers a tangled web that could destablilise the whole country, including himself.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:34 -0400)

Tensions in Spain are rising: political violence and social unrest have suddenly re-emerged. Madrid is trying to keep a tight leash on Catalonia, where the call for independence is getting louder by the day. The last time Barcelona moved to break away, in the 1930s, Spain quickly descended into civil war. Down in Valencia, a shallow grave is found among abandoned orange groves just outside the city. Chief Inspector Max Camara, now heading up the new Special Crime Unit, is put on the case. But this is no ordinary murder. Behind it, Max uncovers a tangled web that could awaken ghosts from the past, decimate Barcelona and destabilise the whole country It's all down to Max, but the stakes are higher than anything he's ever known.… (more)

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