The siege A novel

Arturo Pérez-Reverte

Book - 2014

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FICTION/Perez-Reverte, Arturo
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Historical fiction
New York : Random House [2014]
First U.S. edition
Physical Description
598 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Main Author
Arturo Pérez-Reverte (-)
Other Authors
Frank Wynne (translator)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Pérez-Reverte writes two kinds of novels: richly detailed historical thrillers (The Nautical Chart, 2001) and swashbuckling adventures (Pirates of the Levant, 2010). Lately, he has been sticking to the latter, but here he combines both forms in a complex, history-drenched tale of the siege of Cádiz by the French in the early nineteenth century. The action takes place in 1812, with the port of Cádiz, nicely protected by water, remaining unconquered as Napoleon's forces sweep across Spain. Pérez-Reverte tracks multiple characters on both French and Spanish sides, focusing on two stories: the attempts of ruthless police commissioner Rogelio Tizón to find a serial killer, who is preying on young women, and the travails of businesswoman Lolita Palma to manage her dead father's shipping business in the face of the French blockade and bombing of the city. With grave misgivings, Palma agrees to fund a Spanish corsair (pirate ship) to raid French ships along the coast, and so she comes in contact with Pépé Lobo, the ship's captain, to whom she is immediately attracted. There may be a little too much going on here—the density of both the prose and the story lines can seem almost suffocating at times—but there is no denying the author's ability to build character, evoke landscape, and communicate the crush of history on individual lives. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Pérez-Reverte, an international best-seller and a favorite among booksellers and librarians, has not had a new book since 2010 and will attract plenty of attention with this one. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Even as Napoleon's armies lay siege to Cádiz in 1811, the bodies of murdered women start appearing in strange corners of the city, perhaps a code to be cracked by police commissioner Rogelio Tizón as enemy bombs become increasingly accurate. Meanwhile, Lolita Palma makes sure that her father's mercantile business thrives while unexpectedly grabbing the attention of heart-of-gold corsair Pepe Lobo. The author of literary thrillers like The Flanders Panel will bring out this story's twists while also illuminating life under siege; former war correspondent Pérez-Reverte's The Painter of Battles is one of the best novels available about the costs of war. [Page 74]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A tale set during the Napoleonic siege of Câadiz finds unwavering police commissioner Rogelio Tizâon investigating a series of murders committed by one of several possible suspects trapped within the bomb-stricken city.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A tale set during the Napoleonic siege of Cádiz finds unwavering police commissioner Rogelio Tizón investigating a series of murders committed by one of several possible suspects trapped within the bomb-stricken city. 15,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

WINNER OF THE CRIME WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION’S INTERNATIONAL DAGGERFor fans of Alan Furst and Carlos Ruiz Zafón comes a haunting and layered thriller filled with history, adventure, suspense, and an unforgettable love story—by the internationally bestselling author Arturo Pérez-Reverte.Cádiz, 1811: The Spanish port city has been surrounded by Napoleon’s army for a year. Their backs to the sea, its residents endure routine bombardments and live in constant fear of a French invasion. And now the bodies of random women have begun to turn up throughout the city—victims of a shadowy killer.Police Comisario Rogelio Tizón has been assigned the case. Known for his razor-sharp investigation skills—as well as his brutal interrogation methods—Tizón has seen everything. Or so he thought. His inquiry into the murders reveals a surprising pattern: Each victim has been found where a French bomb exploded. Logic tells him to pass it off as coincidence; his instinct tells him otherwise, and he begins to view Cádiz as a living chessboard, with himself and the killer the main players.In a city pushed to the brink, violence and desperation weave together the lives of a group of unlikely people: the Spanish taxidermist who doubles as a French spy; the young woman who uses her father’s mercantile business to run the enemy blockade; the rough-edged corsair who tries to resist her charms; and the brilliant academic furiously trying to perfect the French army’s artillery and bring Cádiz to its knees once and for all. And as Napoleon presses closer, Tizón must make his next move on the bomb-scarred chessboard before the killer claims another pawn.Combining fast-paced narrative with scrupulous historical accuracy, this smart, suspenseful tale of human resilience is Arturo Pérez-Reverte at the height of his talents.Praise for The Siege“A genre-bending literary thriller . . . Pirates; serial killings; steamy, unrequited love: Pérez-Reverte imbues the sensational with significance. . . . His descriptions of the town and people of Cádiz 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.”—Kirkus Reviews“Bold . . . [Pérez-Reverte’s] best yet . . . an ambitious intellectual thriller peopled with colorful rogues and antiheroes, meticulous in its historical detail, with a plot that rattles along to its unexpected finale. It’s hard to think of a contemporary author who so effortlessly marries popular and literary fiction as enjoyably as this.”—The Observer“Pérez-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.”—The Sunday TimesAcclaim for Arturo Pérez-Reverte“John le Carré meets Gabriel García Márquez . . . Pérez-Reverte has a huge following . . . and it’s spreading.”—The Wall Street Journal“The Da Vinci Code and The Rule of Four . . . pale in comparison with Pérez-Reverte’s novels.”—Time Out New York“It’s a rare novelist who can create a literary page-turner. Arturo Pérez-Reverte . . . is one of those rarities.”—The Denver Post