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The Blind Man of Seville: A Novel (Javier Falcón Books Book 1) Kindle Edition
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“This splendid . . . novel from Robert Wilson is consistently stunning, intriguing, and arresting.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch
About the Author
- ASIN : B003WJQ6IG
- Publisher : Mariner Books; First edition (January 19, 2004)
- Publication date : January 19, 2004
- Language : English
- File size : 3396 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 448 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0156028808
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #821,326 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This was a complex mystery but also dealt with the struggles of a once successful but seemingly declining , divorced guy plagued with thoughts about growing older. There are numerous philosophical elements which helped hold my attention.
Positively, the book was devoid of the many cliché' people and situations found in all too many books today. There was one major " oh, no, not another one" issue which was the inevitable beautiful rich woman (a suspect) who has an immediate "personal connection" with the main character and of course him with her. His behavior in that regard detracted from the story credibility in my opinion because I doubt that most professionals in his role would have conducted themselves as he did such as revealing too much to her about the case and holding too many meetings with her on his own.
Per some reviewers' comments about a weak ending, I, too, could have postured several alternatives. While the link with the initial murder and the main character was highly likely fairly early on, all the twists and turns kept my attention throughout. I ordered two more novels by the author as result of reading this book which was my first experience with a novel by Robert Wilson.
Raul Jimenez surrounded himself with celebrity and the attendant bourgeoisie who made his life run smoothly. With a penchant for depravity, there was a discrepancy between his public and private lives, leading to speculation about the grotesque manner of the killing. As the case unfolds, something equally dark surfaces in Falcon's subconscious, a reawakening of memories tied to his own father, a famous artist of brutal intensity, Francisco Falcon. Living alone in his father's huge mansion, memory lurks in every corner; separated from his wife, Falcon is left confused and vulnerable.
The Inspector seizes upon the idea that the murder is rooted somewhere in Jimenez' past in Tangier in the 1930's and '40's. Falcon, as is his way, leaves no detail to chance, not Raul's younger wife, his son from a prior marriage, nor previous nefarious business associates. Clearly a man of uninhibited tastes, Jimenez had an equally murky history in Tangier, long before attaining the social status of Seville, his peasant beginnings obscured by the sophistication of wealth and power.
Falcon falls deeper into the mystery of his father's past, one that runs concurrent with that of Jimenez, confusing the Inspector's ability to separate truth from fiction. The artist's diaries rival Falcon's attention to his work on the case, as the Inspector becomes preoccupied with the history of the man who looms large in death as well as life. Beset with nightmares and unfathomable fears, Falcon encounters emotions he is ill prepared to comprehend.
More than a clever storyline, the author reaches behind the complex emotions of shocking criminal acts, with complementary plot lines that propel The Blind Man of Seville, gradually revealing the identity of the man who carefully executes the torture of his victims and Inspector Javier Falcon's internal struggle with his personal life, exacerbated by reading his famous father's journal entries. Ultimately, the true nature of the artist is revealed, exposed by his own words, turning Falcon's interpretation of reality upside-down and intimating the killer's identity.
Wilson's style of writing tunnels into the imagination, planting images, possibilities, and perverse thoughts that lodge in the mind. All in due time. The reader is complicit in the plot, a voyeur perched on Falcon's shoulder, privy to his musings and sharing his fears. This author has drawn me deeply into the subconscious texture of the plot, a willing victim. I read this novel compulsively, found it impossible to resist. Luan Gaines/ 2005.
There are many, many things to love about this book asides from it launching a complex, compelling four book story line that never fails to enthrall the reader.
First of all, Falcon is a very complex character with doubts and faults finely detailed by Wilson.
Two, Wilson is very good at balancing how complex a plot should be. He reminds me a lot of the better works of Robert Littell, and coming from me, that is high praise.
Three, Wilson makes Seville come alive. It's almost a character in its own right.
Finally, Wilson does a particularly good job of weaving long family histories into the complex plot. A devotee of Greek tragedies would really enjoy the way sins and family faults repeat themselves for generation after generation. In terms of modern crime fiction, we have to look back to Ross MacDonald's The Galton Case for family plotting that works so well.
If you've not read Wilson before, I suggest his single volume best book, A Small Death in Lisbon, and then by all means dive headfirst into this wonderful series.
Wilson has a knack for character development that is untouchable and psychological insights that even Freud on his best day would not be able to unravel.
The book can be slow going as you may need to check back on who's who or what a particular Spanish term meant, but the reward is well worth the effort. I won't belabor the plot, only to emphasize that it is tantalizing in a macbre way and actually makes me search my own psyche as to why I enjoy such deep dark thrillers. I guess it's fair to say Wilson may be a dark deep and even cruel designer, but there are few who can match his originality and his ability to weave a web so taut and mesmerizing that you won't be finished with the book even after you've read the last sentence.
Bravo Robert, Bravo!!