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Set in wartime Madrid, the book plots the fortunes of connected English characters on different places in the religious and political divides.
The story is involving and quite gripping albeit written from a pro republican, anti religious perspective.
The descriptive passages are great recreating the despair and squalor of wartime Madrid extremely well.
A must for anyone who likes spy stories with a heart stopping finish.
With an interesting historical perspective about the Spanish civil war and Spain's part during the second world war.
Winter in Madrid (fiction)
C. J. Sansom (Author)
customer reviews (Yes)
Print List Price: £6.99
Kindle Price: £0.20p
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Reviews from Amazon:
This is an excellent novel, with convincing characters and a feeling of authenticity about the conditions in Madrid following the Civil War. The story line itself is excellent and exciting, with many parallel threads developing to a conclusion full of suspense and drama. It is both spy novel, and also a love story, but also has great historical interest, showing the situation in Europe at the time, with the risk of Spain allying with the Germans against Britain, and the efforts of British diplomats to avoid this by subtle relationship building with key people in the Spanish government.
I am surprised that an earlier reviewer found the characters stereotyped for I found them totally convincing. Yes, they are people of their time, but their characters are picked out in fine detail and the reader can empathise with them with little difficulty.
The author has conducted meticulous research into the history of the Spanish Civil War and its effects on the various classes of people in Spain. The book shows the great divisions in Spain following the war, and the bitter wounds caused to family and social relationships by the polarisation of the nation into two different sides. I can set this book alongside the very best works of Sebastian Faulkes, John le Carré, Alain Furst etc. This is a very fine book, with a strong story line set in a convincing portrait of Madrid in 1941. Well worth reading.
A top-notch novel I thoroughly recommend. As usual the author has real skill at creating a sense of time and place and the language is faultless. What makes this one so enjoyable is that the characters he creates (there are quite a few leading characters in this novel) fit into their place and time so well. It's a common fault in historical novels that modern characters with modern morals are set uncomfortably in a historical landscape - not so here, it all gels to make a thoroughly believable yarn and you'll learn a lot about Franco's Spain and Britain's efforts to keep him from joining forces with Hitler and Mussolini during WWII into the bargain, the history is always good, pretty accurate and vividly recounted. This would make a great movie with lots of juicy parts for a good cast to grapple with!
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