Madrid 1939. Carlos Tejada Alonso y Lean is a Sergeant in the Guardia Civil, a rank rare for a man not yet 30, but Tejada is an unusual recruit. The bitter civil war between the Nationalists and the Republicans has interrupted his legal studies in Salamanca. Second son of a conservative Southern family of landowners, he is an enthusiast for the Catholic Franquista cause, a dedicated, and now triumphant, Nationalist.
This war has drawn international attention. In a dress rehearsal for World War II, fascists support the Nationalists, while communists have come to the aid of the Republicans. Atrocities have devastated both sides. It is at this moment, when the Republicans have surrendered, and the Guardia Civil has begun to impose order in the ruins of Madrid, that Tejada finds the body of his best friend, a hero of the siege of Toledo, shot to death on a street named Amor de Dios. Naturally, a Red is suspected. And it is easy for Tejada to assume that the woman caught kneeling over the body is the killer. But when his doubts are aroused, he cannot help seeking justice.
©2004 Rebecca Pawel (P)2011 Iambik
"[Pawel] turns the clock back to 1939 and Madrid's tumultuous past.... An intriguing juxtaposition of the political and the personal." (Kirkus Reviews)
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"Spain under the first Franco years"
A credible mystery, told through the lives of a nationalist (a Madrid policeman in the pro-fascist government that defeated Republican Spain during the Spanish Civil War '36-'39) and a former republican soldier in hiding after war's end. Taking place immediately before the beginning of WWII, the story is interesting enough for the mystery and the conflicts -- both political and emotional
-- in and between the characters, but especially so for the insight into the experience of life under Spanish fascism.
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