This stunning, atmospheric thriller set in war-torn Europe won the CWA Gold Dagger and has now been reissued with the Javier Falcon series.
A Portuguese bank is founded on the back of Nazi wartime deals.
Over half a century later a young girl is murdered in Lisbon.
1941. Klaus Felsen, SS, arrives in Lisbon and the strangest party in history where Nazis and Allies, refugees and entrepreneurs dance to the strains of opportunism and despair. Felsen’s war takes him to the bleak mountains of the north where a brutal battle is being fought for an element vital to Hitler’s blitzkrieg.
Late 1990s, Lisbon. Inspector Ze Coelho is investigating the murder of a young girl with a disturbing sexual past. As Ze digs deeper he overturns the dark soil of history and unearths old bones. The 1974 revolution has left injustices of the old fascist regime unresolved. But there’s an older, greater injustice for which this small death in Lisbon is horrific compensation, and in his final push for the truth, Ze must face the most chilling opposition.
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In such distinctively written novels as A Darkening Stain and Blood is Dirt, Robert Wilson established a solid claim to be the heir apparent of such major writers as Graham Greene in fusing thriller elements with brilliantly written novels of character. His speciality was the luminous creation of atmosphere in his exotic locales, and his 1999 Golden Dagger winner, A Small Death in Lisbon represents the most cogent example yet of this rare ability.
Europe, 1941: Lisbon is one of the world's tensest cities, and as the Nazis and Allies jostle for power, Iberia becomes a fulcrum for the menace that is about to engulf Europe. Klaus Felsen, torn from his Berlin factory to become a reluctant member of the SS, finds himself drawn into a savage battle for a vital element in Hitler's Blitzkrieg. There he meets a man who will set in motion a sinister conspiracy that will last to the end of the century.
Lisbon, 1998: Inspector Zé Coelho is struggling against the closed ranks of his colleagues in the investigation of the brutal murder of a young girl. Her disturbing sexual past is the focus for his colleagues' attention, but as Coelho begins to unearth some remarkable secrets behind her death, he encounters a plot that stretches beyond the 1974 Portuguese revolution--back to the atrocities of the fascist regime. Soon he is facing a terrifying opponent in his battle to uncover the horrors of the past.
The protagonist as an outsider in a hostile community may not be a new literary device, but rarely is it so adroitly handled. Coelho is a fully rounded character, vividly realised and handled with an unflinching honesty. The complexity of the narrative stays clear and compelling because of Wilson's ability to sharply rein various plot lines, while slowly allowing them to unfold. Although more ambitious and epic in its scope than his previous books, A Small Death in Lisbon retains all the author's customary and mesmerising imagery:
It was at about that time that a girl started to make her dent in the sand no more than the few hundred metres away from where I was sleeping. Her eyes wide open, she moonbathed to a night full of stars, her blood slack, her skin cold and hard as fresh tuna.-- Barry Forshaw Review:
Compulsively readable… rich in history and intrigue, love and death. Bold, inventive and wholly successful… Wilson unmistakably delivers the goods.’ Literary Review
‘This is vintage suspense writing; sharp, cold, mean and funny.’ Alan Furst
‘A gripping and absorbing drama that spans Europe from wartime Berlin to contemporary Lisbon.’ Val McDermid
‘A class act…For once a novelist influenced by Raymond Chandler is not shown up by the comparison.’ Sunday Times
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Book Description Harper Collins, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 000651202X
Book Description Harper Collins, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P11000651202X