An epic new standalone novel from the bestselling author of The Dumas Club and The Flanders Panel
Cadiz, 1811. Spain is battling for independence while America is doing the same. But in the streets of the most liberal city in Europe other battles are taking place. A serial killer is on the loose, flaying young women to death. Each of these murders takes place near the site where a French bomb has just fallen. It is the job of policeman Rogelio Tizon to find the murderer and avoid public scandal in a city already posied on the brink.
Cadiz is a complex chessboard on which an unseen hand - a ruthless assassin, artillery fire, the direction of the wind, the calculation of probabilities - moves the pieces that will decide the fate of its protagonists: a corrupt and brutal policeman, the female heir to important shipping company; an unscrupulous corsair captain; a sinister taxidermist who is also a spy, a hardened soldier, and an eccentric French artilleryman.
The Siege tells the story of a world that could have been but never was. It documents the end of an era and characters condemned by history to a life that will never be the same.
About the Author
Arturo Perez Reverte lives near Madrid. Originally a war correspondent, he now writes fiction full time. His novels include The Flanders Panel, The Club Dumas, The Fencing Master, The Seville Communion, The Nautical Chart, The Queen Of The South and the bestselling Captain Alatriste series. In 2003 he was elected to the Spanish Royal Academy.
That rare thing, an old-fashioned, proper, big novel: The Siege is as much a thickly described historical fiction as a many-layered crime novel. The judges admired the claustrophobia of the siege of Cadiz (for both sides) during the Peninsular War that forms the detailed background to the investigation and the author's serious ethical intentions. To quote Orson Welles, Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? THE CRIME WRITERS' ASSOCIATION This is a big and bold novel, rich in character and incident -- Nick Rennison THE SUNDAY TIMES I was totally drawn in. I felt as though I was living through the siege with the characters - the fear, the hunger, the pretence of normality when a bomb might kill you at any moment. We moved from high-life at the theatre to low in the taverns, from policeman to spy, from Spanish lines to French. I loved the scenes at sea, which were very vividly done. I felt I came to know the characters... This is more novel than crime story, with the murders being a strand in a much larger story, and it's a challenging read - but well worth the effort. If you want something that will engross you wholly in another world, try this. MYSTERY PEOPLE Arturo Perez-Reverte's bold new thriller...The Siege is his best yet: an ambitious intellectual thriller peopled with colourful rogues and antiheroes, meticulous in its historical detail, with a plot that rattles along to its unexpected finale -- Stephanie Merritt THE OBSERVER Peopled with a cast that would not be out of place in an Almodovar film, Perez-Reverte's novel is an intelligent thriller packed with intrigue and romance -- Kathy Stevenson DAILY MAIL Arturo Perez-Reverte has long been Spain's most popular, inventive writer of historical fiction... this is a big and bold novel, rich in character and incident -- Nick Rennison THE SUNDAY TIMES A thrilling novel that is packed with intrigue and romance -- Harry Hodges DAILY EXPRESS Crime fiction and a historical setting make impressive bedfellows in Perez Reverte's latest offering... Thrilling. -- Martyn Colebrook THE LADY A sweeping panorama of life in besieged Cadiz during the Peninsula War BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE Perez Reverte recreates the whole world through unforgettable characters, notably Lolita Palma, a lone woman running the family merchant house. History, adventure and philosophy. Unless your Spanish runs to terms of a nautical nature, this is best read in translation -- Judie Newman, professor of American studies at the University of Nottingham TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION SUPPLEMENT A manhunt, war, romance, plenty of intrigue and action, and numerous twists and turns - this novel comes highly recommended. It's entertaining, well-written and virtually impossible to put down. I doubt you'll be disappointed LIVING SPAIN Arturo Perez-Reverte is Spain's best known modern novelist and one of the great European adventure storytellers in a line stretching back to Dumas and beyond. His 13 previous books, all immaculately researched and historically accurate, have dealt with much of his country's quest for empire and European domination, but his latest - and many could argue his best - is set solely in the vibrant port city of Cadiz during the Peninsula War... This beautifully written and fast-paced series of linked stories offers a manhunt set against its central war theme; a romance; first class action scenes; some fascinating, if bizarre, ideas on scientific detection - and an unexpected ending... It's a hugely ambitious and intellectual thriller with no heroes, and is far more than a simple whodunit... a riveting blend of incident, historical background and some piercing insights into the mercurial Spanish psyche... intelligent, fascinating and easily read. -- John Cleal www.crimereview.co.uk Perez-Reverte begins with several different strands of story and weaves them into a rather impressive web. The level of detail is meticulous but also beautiful; his descriptions of the town and people of Cadiz capture colors, smells and personalities, making the page come to life, and he balances these sensory passages with dense observations about history, metaphysics, science and human nature... A genre-bending literary thriller worth the time. KIRKUS
Number Of Pages: 672
Published: 10th September 2013
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.5 x 3.6
Weight (kg): 0.75
Edition Number: 1