The action in The Sentinel alternates between the present and the dark winter of 1953, where Comandante Leo Guzmán is head of a secret police unit whose job is to hunt down enemies of the state. Guzmán's brutal tactics are simple and effective: everyone is suspect.
In 2009, on a blazing summer's day in the hills near Madrid, Ana María Galindez, a Guardia Civil forensic scientist, examines what she thinks is just another Civil War grave. Fifteen bodies are hidden in an abandoned mine shaft, and forensics reveal that the killings took place sometime in the early 1950s. The identity of the suspected murderer? Comandante Leo Guzmán.
Intrigued by Guzmán's disappearance, Galindez becomes obsessed with tracking down this shadowy killer. As she investigates, she disturbs things which have lain dormant for almost 60 years. Things so compromising that those concerned will stop at nothing to destroy them-and her.
©2012 Mark Oldfield (P)2012 Audible Ltd
I took a gamble on this one. Something caught my imagination. Oh that was a good move. What a book, brilliant and totally absorbing. The story is demanding, gruesome and relentlessly draws you in. The main character is truly Shakespearean, hard, bad and tragic. There a three linked stories and each is powerful and important. I kept wanting to get back to each one, frustrated when the book took you the next. The narrator is brilliant and adds so much to the book, his skill with voices is a delight. Read it and pay attention. It all matters.
Not normally my type of book but the reviews were good. This book is great. Although it was longer then normal it held my interest from the first page. It covers three time zones but you always knew where you were. I recommend it. The narrater Nigel Carrington was very good and I enjoyed listening to him.
Set in both post revolutionary Spain and contemporary Spain, this first of a trilogy. Leo Guzman is a brilliant creation, one of Franco's enforcers a methodical killer. Ana Maria Galindez is the lead in the present day a forensic scientist who is perusing Guzman from the present. Although complicated the story is fascinating especially as I knew very little about Spain in 1953. I look forward to the next instalment
This book was a little slow to get going due to jumping forward and backward in time, however stick with it as its truly brilliant. I really did a turnaround with this book wishing it would not finish as I was sucked into the story, and wanted to stay with the characters.
I can't recommend this book enough and truly can't wait for the next Mark Oldfield book as its the first of three!
Ignore the poor reviews this is a brilliant book, one of the best audio books I have ever listened to. The narration was very good, and even had in not been the fantastic story would have made up for it. Get it now & you’ll be hooked!
One of the best novels I've listened to in a long time . Informative , exciting and a good story told over three eras of Spanish history; I was genuinelu sorry for it to end. I really have no idea why some reviewers are on about the narration , it was excellent and the accents were more than adequate to convey the story. There were enough twists and turns to keep me with it over it's considerable length and I await part 2 with keen anticipation.
I had high hopes of this book but was disappointed by the old fashioned tied sexual politics and the thinly drawn characters, I carried on to the end but saw no improvement. I was hoping the world had moved on from this type of book not my type of read at all
Where to begin? Well firstly, I suppose, as I haven't read or heard this story through to the end I had better not say too much about the authorship. Although that said first impression are of formulaic overblown characters, using unconvincing and historically and geographical unauthentic dialogue, inhabiting a poorly realised world. If this is 1950's Spain then I was born in the Netherlands…………..…. but it is hard to really get a handle on anything here, either plot or characterisation, because of the truly terrible production.
I cannot blame the narrator for not having a suite of fairly convincing Iberian accents to draw upon but I can blame the pathetic production team for employing him. If you think hearing what is a Spanish plot, set in Spain with Spanish characters using voices that range from East London hard man to Scottish by way of god knows where then buy this. Otherwise steer well clear. If it's still on offer (oh I how I regret this spending this money) it might be worth a fiver to you to hear something truly humorous, of the most painful kind that is.
Actually there is something here that interests me, this is an American Audible release of an American production. I have noticed before with these that there seldom appears to be any attempt to utilise authentic or semi-authentic voice. I have heard many a Scandinavian policeman talking in broad American accents. Perhaps this is the American market, perhaps few American know or care about regional accent. Remember the pain of Kevin Costnor as Robin Hood - this is actually much much worse - and I am far from Spanish.
The previewed piece has little dialogue and the narrator voice for description is not too bad - even with some inflection for Spanish words. The reality is very different - there is something almost enchanting, in a charmless brutal way, about hearing Comandante Leo Guzmán speaking in an East End voice.
For completeness Audible have refunded my money.
I enjoyed this. The idea was excellent and on the whole I was carried along, liking Guzman and hating what he did. However, there are three things that let this down.
The first was the ending, which just didn't fit in and was written as though the author had run out of steam. This was closely followed by the use of Spanish words and phrases. The story is set in Spain, so we don't need to have occasional Spanish words to remind us of the fact. A bit like cheap films that have the actors playing foreign parts speak in an accent! Finally, I was disappointing by the narrator, who took no time to find out how to pronounce the Spanish words used.
Having said all of that I would recommend it.
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