Compelling Adventure in a Spanish Village (review)

June 27, 2011

With Don’t Miss the Fiesta!  journalist and author David Baird (born in Shropshire, England) does a remarkable job both of entertaining and enlightening his readers, writes Miguel Booth, Hispanist, writer and polemicist.

At first glance this engaging book is just a compelling tale of mystery and adventure: Scully, a degenerate British fraudster takes refuge in a remote Andalusian mountain village, bringing with him his baggage of regrets and sordid secrets. But he’s unaware of the mysteries the seemingly innocent village of Benamargo harbors. A hint: The name itself denotes bitterness.

On another level the book is a vibrant fictionalized account of the secret lives of so many real-life Spanish villages which—at the time the story is set, in the 1980s—were still largely trapped between the hammer of the Spanish Civil War and its aftermath, and the anvil of cruel medieval religious “obligations”.

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TYPHOON HITS HONG KONG

June 16, 2011

Maroma Press’s latest book, Typhoon Season, has received a glowing review from — appropriately enough — Hong Kong’s top  daily, the South China Morning Post. Respected writer and academic Douglas Kerr notes:  “The plot is well crafted and is exceptionally well paced.” 

This is Kerr’s review:

There is a distinctly retro feeling to this novel, and not just because most of the action takes place in Hong Kong in 1980, a distant time when we all got by without mobile phones, reality TV, party politics and Lady Gaga.

What did we do all day? If this book is to be believed, life in Hong Kong in 1980 was lived at breakneck speed. This is a tightly constructed thriller that moves along at a cracking pace, one of those stories in which the hero gets threatened by the bad guys, arrested by the cops, consoled by the girlfriend, bamboozled by the mystery of the missing corpse, knocked unconscious, shot at and almost drowned, with barely time in between to change his shirt. Read the rest of this entry »