Monday, 13 January 2014

Review: The Assassin's Mark by David Ebsworth

In 1938, Europe is on the brink of a second Great War in less than thirty years and the dark spectre of National Socialism is looming over several European countries.  The Spanish Civil War has been going on for two years and, in an arrogant show of confidence, General Franco has begun to operate "Battlefield Tours" - package holidays of the recent and famous war zones for tourists.

Jack Telford, a journalist with a left wing newspaper, is sent to report on the tours and tries to uncover the underlying reasons for the war.  However his eccentric holiday making companions along with a power hungry tour guide make his task difficult.  Then one of the tourists is murdered and Telford is captured by Republican guerillas, putting his life in danger as he tries to solve the murder and save his own sanity.


I know little of the Spanish Civil War and so I began reading this novel with a sense of anxiety, being out of one's comfort zone can be challenging can't it?  However, within a few pages I was hooked by David Ebsworth's wonderful story and eloquent, yet light, prose.  He quickly establishes characters and their personalities, providing you with the boundaries of "goodie & baddie" before flipping the whole premise on its head and bringing a whole new perspective to the story.

If you enjoy passionate characters, with a well-researched and deep historical plotline then you really need to read this book.  It has been crafted with exceptional care and whether you buy it on Kindle or in paperback, I can quite honestly say that this book is a keeper!

I give "The Assassin's Mark" 4 Crosses!

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  1. Hi Stuart. Thanks for this very kind review - and also for posting the interview, of course. Happy to answer any questions or comments that might crop up. Hope you're keeping OK :)

  2. I agree with you, Sir Readalot, it's a fabulous book - one of the best I read last year. As well as being a gripping thriller that keeps you guessing till the end (and boy, what a fabulous ending!), I think it makes an important contribution raising awareness of the Spanish Civil War, its issues and its horrors, before a 21st century audience. Definitely one of the best books I read last year.

  3. Thanks Debbie. Much appreciated. I had a really nice comment from somebody recently who said they'd taken the book with them to Northern Spain and followed the story, and the route, all the way to Santiago de Compostela. What a lovely idea!