Can two miniature paintings bring down a government?
When a young woman is bequeathed two paintings - presumed destroyed during the siege of Madrid in 1936, during the Spanish Civil War - a simple errand becomes a deadly chase.
The new blood of Europe encounters the old Blood of Spain, revealing secret allegiances and ambitions of power, as an international cast of characters journey to the dark soul of Spain's ignoble past.
Greed, envy, vanity, pride and lust fuel a murderous hunt for ... vengeance? supremacy? or truth?
After Goya will change your idea of Spain.
As a literary thriller, After Goya doesn’t disappoint. A simple tale of baddies trying to steal a couple of paintings adds layer upon layer of intrigue as Málaga based police detective, Cotelo follows the trail of subtle clues and curious characters, while simultaneously negotiating the murky waters of Spanish back room politics.
The literary and artistic pretensions of the novel are laid on with a light touch, adding depth and richness to a good old rip-roaring tale of detective work.
Cotelo himself is a thinking person’s Columbo, dishevelled and disrespectful, with a keen nose for human nature. But he also has political and literary sensibilities, a dark back story, and a dash of sex appeal thrown in for good measure.
For many English readers, this novel will introduce them to an unfamiliar Spain. The traumas and divisions of the civil war still lie just beneath the surface even today. This dark tale of simple greed and complicated historical and political motivations places the reader firmly in that divided society.
As a page-turning thriller with the added richness of literary, artistic and historical settings, After Goya is a very satisfying read.
Read this on your flight to Spain.