My local bookshop Daunts, which was originally a travel bookshop, recommended this book for the National Rust trip to Andalusia.
Reverte is regarded amongst the best of the modern Spanish authors and I enjoyed his The Fencing Master.
This as the title suggests is set in Seville and the plot centres around the destruction of a church in the fashionable Santa Cruz barrio where the Rusters stayed.
After the Pope’s personal computer is hacked and there are a couple of suspicious deaths in the church, the Vatican sends a trouble shooter called Lorenzo Quart to see what is going on. He gets dragged into various intrigues as rich banker Don Ottavio and the ruthless Chief Executive of his bank have plans to develop the land where the church is situated.
The Chief Executive’s separated wife and her mother are congregants of the local church and, alongside the stubborn priest of the church Father Ferro, are the chief opposition to the plans.
There is a more than a touch of Graham Greene about the Catholic faith of the characters enshrined in a murder/mystery. Best of all is the depiction of Seville which according to the Rusters is quite accurate. Don Ottavio’s favourite restaurant Casa Robles is where they ate their first meal in Seville and another at La Gironda in the shadow of the Archbishop of Seville’s palace. The Archbishop plays an important role in the novel.
In any novel in a foreign language translation is vital. Most of the translation is sufficiently smooth to read like English but occasionally it’s clunky as with the continued description of one character as “the bogus lawyer”.
This ia good read whether or not you have visited the intriguing city of Sevilla.