Really engrossing read with good characters and a driving plot

New 5-star Review of ‘Murder of a British Patriot’ on Amazon

Albert Clack has found a voice with this engaging and engrossing story. His characters ring true throughout and he creates fascinating but entirely realistic situations in episodic fashion which spur on the narrative.

The device of running the story in two time periods can be tricky if not handled well, but it is. It’s also a history lesson for anyone not around in the 1980s and unfamiliar with the febrile political atmosphere of the time.

His Inspector Warren is a viable DI with a liberal background and sympathies but perfectly happy to use the authority of his rank and position to get what he wants. As a result suspects are kept in custody despite having viable alibis simply because he wants to make them sweat in the hope of breaking them. This is a man not flawed by drink or emotional incontinence, but by struggling to keep his liberal and authoritarian natures out of conflict with each other.

The development of the plot rattles along and rarely falls into the trap of telling instead of showing – an example: a reactionary detective sergeant is described as being at that rank for nine years, nothing more is said about her but we know from her subsequent actions that further advancement won’t happen..

This was a great read and one I found unable to put down easily and when I did I hastened to pick it up again.

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Really engrossing read with good characters and a driving plot

The novels of Toti Martinez de Lezea ought to be available in English to reach a wider audience

I’ve just finished reading a terrific historical novel, Los Hijos de Ogaiz (The Children of Ogaiz), spanning nearly a quarter of a century of tumultuous events in 14th-century Navarre, by Toti Martinez de Lezea, who lives in a small town near Bilbao.

Revolts against the French rulers, famine, a genocidal anti-Jewish pogrom, the Black Death and much more are seen through the eyes of two warring families on opposite sides of the ethno-political divide.

I cannot understand why no English translations of her books are available, as I am sure they would attract a big following.

This was my second, after El Verdugo de Dios (God’s Executioner), which deals with mass burnings at the stake of Cathars, condemned as heretics by the Roman Catholic Church, through the eyes of a master stonemason forced to flee from Champagne to Navarre after the his family are slaughtered.

But he is forced to confront the ghosts of his past in flesh and blood when the papist monster who ordered their horrendous deaths in the name of Catholic orthodoxy turns up in Navarre years later.

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The novels of Toti Martinez de Lezea ought to be available in English to reach a wider audience