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El ciego de Sevilla by Robert Wilson
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El ciego de Sevilla (original 2003; edition 2004)

by Robert Wilson

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5251819,248 (3.68)2
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Title:El ciego de Sevilla
Authors:Robert Wilson
Info:Rba Libros (2004), Paperback
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The Blind Man of Seville by Robert Wilson (2003)

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English (14)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (18)
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
As a mystery, it's a bit confused and non-linear in the Chandler tradition. As a thematic piece the sins of the fathers/colonial guilt angle just seems overplayed and overly literal. ( )
  ehines | May 22, 2014 |
The Blind Man of Seville is the first novel in the Inspector Javier Falcon series by author Robert Wilson. A leading restaurateur has been found bound gagged and with no eyelid. Most of the wounds are self inflicted. Falcon is called in to investigate and their seem many reasons for his death including a resentful wife or corruption. However, when more bodies start to appear Falcon realises that the killer is much closer to home and discovers that it is connected to his past, one he never knew he had.

This book was probably overly long. At nearly 700 page it sometimes became a bit of a drag to read.Read the full review here ( )
  thecrimescene | Sep 30, 2013 |
I found this book to be extremely difficult to finish. It is not about gruesome murders described in it nor characters themselves. No. [return][return]It is about entire disturbing depressive setting, journey of the main character [one Javier Falcon] through the history of his family - more precisely his father's. [return][return]Inspector Javier is one of those "crusader" policeman who never gets the easy mission - he always encounters people without any conscience, tries to dissect truth from lies, essentially lives his life investigating some very disturbing cases while trying to keep his mind sound and integrity untouched.[return][return]While investigating a murder of a known businessman Javier suffers a complete nervous breakdown. After finding out that murder victim knew his father he starts down the path that will lead him to some unwanted discoveries about his father and his father's friends. [return][return]Ending is also somewhat .... rushed I guess. I do not know, seems like the author wanted to finish the book as fast as possible so many questions remain unanswered.[return][return]One of those books that try to describe the darkest things lurking within (wo)man. [return][return]If you have stomach do read it, otherwise I advise you not to. ( )
  Zare | Dec 4, 2012 |
I was sadly ignorant of this series of books until very recently and I picked it up mainly because I love Seville and was interested in reading something set in the city. It turned out to be far more than just a detective story as Falcon, our protagonist, finds himself looking back into the past and his relationship with his father. We learn about his father's early life as Falcon tracks a killer. The Blind Man is Falcon himself; he has been blind to his father's character and to his family's history. Not for the faint-hearted. ( )
1 vote Welshwoman | Feb 24, 2011 |
An Inspector Jefe Javier Falcón of the Homicide Squad of Seville, Spain; set in contemporary Spain; first in the series.

The body of a prominent Sevillan businessman is found, gruesomely mutilated. The killer has deliberately left behind clues, in the form of a videotape. The killer has a story to tell and is using a particularly horrific form of torture to tell the story and force the victim to kill himself.

Inspector Jefe (Chief Inspector) Falcón is a man in his early 40s who is relatively new to Seville, a city promoted as Spain’s most beautiful and most fun-loving, easy-going--a fiesta every night and behind every tree. Falcón, coming most recently from Madrid, does not fit the bill of the ordinary Sevillano--rather stiff, formal, he feels standoffish to his more outgoing colleagues and so cold that his ex-wife Inez has accused him of having no heart; in fact, his second-in-command is hostile, since he, Ramírez, was slated to become Chief Inspector until Falcón was brought in. Falcón himself lives along in a big house left to him by his famous artist father when the latter died two years before.

But somehow this murder (and Seville is a relatively safe city with maybe 15 homicides a year) sets something off within Falcón so that he instinctively realizes that his life has somehow irrevocably changed, bringing up feelings of disorientation and even panic which seem to have no rational origin.

And so the story goes--on the one hand, an investigation into what becomes multiple murders and on the other, Falcón’s increasing inner turmoil, to the point that he finally seeks out professional counseling with a blind woman who uses unusual techniques to determine her subjects’ responses.

Ordinarily, that would be enough--a great psychological thriller only this time, the psychology part is within the increasingly upset mind of a Chief Inspector who has to hang on because of a lurid murder investigation. But that’s not all.

Falcón comes across his father’s diaries, many of which cover the Civil War years in Spain. His father, born in North Africa of Spanish parents, joins the Spanish version of the French Foreign Legion which, under Franco, fought in the Spanish Civil War alongside the regular army against the International Brigades. In this way, Wilson brings out the story of the horrors of the Spanish Civil War. Afterwards, part of that army, dubbed the Blue Brigade, was sent to Russia with the Nazis--and wound up sharing the Russians’ fate. The relevancy of this fascinating material does not become apparent until much later.

Because of the heavy emphasis on Falcón’s inner turmoil, the book is not a fast-paced one in the sections where Falcón is basically trying to hold himself together enough to carry on with a high-profile investigation. The diary sections are utterly absorbing in what they reveal of the history of the Spanish Civil War which, like most Civil Wars, was utterly brutal, particularly on the side of the Falangists (Franco’s special forces). But the plot is very intriguing, the writing is very good to excellent, and the characters, although not what one would call stock characters in this type of police procedural, are well-drawn, complex personalities.

Highly recommended on several levels. ( )
2 vote Joycepa | Sep 2, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Robert Wilsonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Per Kristian GudmundsenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0156028808, Paperback)

After trying his hand at spy fiction in The Company of Strangers, Robert Wilson returns to his detective-thriller roots with The Blind Man of Seville, a grimly bewitching and character-driven yarn about people confronting their most hidden horrors.

"It was only right that there should be at least one murder in Holy Week," muses Inspector Jefe Javier Falcón as he's called out during Spain's Semana Santa festivities to probe the death of a prosperous Seville restaurateur, Raúl Jiménez. The deceased was found strapped to a chair with his eyelids removed, facing a television on which had been showing a video of him entertaining prostitutes. Jiménez's heart had failed as he struggled to escape. This murder is "more extraordinary than any I have seen in my career," Falcón tells the businessman's widow, as he embarks on an investigation that will lead to the slayings of a hooker and an art dealer, and force the homicide cop into a game of wits against a killer obsessed with the contradictions between illusion and reality. Meanwhile, Falcón is himself obsessed with the long-secreted journals kept by his late father, a famous painter, whose brutal acts during the Spanish Civil War and subsequent hedonism in North Africa shaped Javier's life... and will make him the killer's next target.

Wilson's plot turns rather creakily on the coincidence of Falcón discovering a photograph of his father among Jiménez's things. And lengthy excerpts from the elder Falcón's diaries, while they reveal links between the book's secondary players, and are interesting for their portrayal of wartime Europe and postwar Tangier, nonetheless hobble this story's pace and distract from the modern crimes at its center. Still, there's a poetic edge to this author's prose that makes even his most gruesome or tragic scenes worthy of rereading, and in Javier Falcón--a lonely outsider who shadows his ex-wife and has a perplexing aversion to milk--he creates a police protagonist as satisfyingly and humanly flawed as any since Zé Coelho, from Wilson's outstanding A Small Death in Lisbon. --J. Kingston Pierce

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:51 -0400)

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Spanish thriller.

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