Page one, Spain waits, the king lies dying. There is the feeling of a nation on the edge. In Valencia, there are homeless on the street, immigrants are being harassed, the police department faces cutbacks despite rumblings of public unrest, and there are not enough drugs for the sick.
Blood Med is the fourth in the Cámara Valencia-based detective series by Jason Webster. There are two deaths and Cámara and his colleague Torres are given one case each, the hidden agenda is that one of the two men must be made redundant. One death is suspected suicide, the other a brutal murder. In the way of crime fiction, you know there will be a connection but that connection is of course invisible at the beginning.
The detective, orphaned young and raised by his grandfather, now lives in Valencia with elderly Hilario plus Max’s girlfriend, journalist Alicia. Both Hilario and Alicia have key roles in this story. Hilario is a huge influence on Max’s approach to life, and he often recalls his grandfather’s fondness for proverbs when he finds himself in a sticky situation. Visteme despacio que tengo prisa he tells himself when he feels the investigation is being rushed. It translates as ‘Dress me slowly, I’m in a rush’. He feels the investigation has tunnel vision; that it is being rushed and would benefit from a step back. “If he could have his way he would send everyone home for the rest of the day to switch off. Go to the beach, go wherever. And have sex – with someone else if possible. If not, whatever. If helped clear the mind.”This is the most accomplished Cámara novel so far, the setting in Valencia [above] is so strong and the political background feels very real. The corralito described [the government decree to close the banks] feels very real. There are a lot more stories to come in Max Cámara’s Valencia.
If you like ‘Blood Med’, try the first three Max Cámara books:-
‘Or the Bull Kills You’, Max Cámara #1
‘A Death in Valencia’, Max Cámara #2
‘The Anarchist Detective’, Max Cámara #3
If you like books, check out my book reviews at my website.
‘Blood Med’, Max Cámara #4, by Jason Webster [UK: Vintage]
5 to remember
hay el sentimiento – there is the feeling
su colega – his colleague
la investigación – the investigation
la agenda oculta – the hidden agenda
una situación pegajosa – a sticky situation
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BLOOD MED by @Jwebsterwriter #bookreview via @Spanish_Valley http://wp.me/p3dYp6-105