Having pursued a conventional enough path through school and university, Jason Webster was all set to enter the world of academe as a profession. But when his aloof Florentine girlfriend of some years dumped him unceremoniously, he found himself at a crossroads. Abandoning the world of libraries and the future he had always imagined for himself, he headed off instead for Spain in search of duende, the intense emotional state - part ecstasy, part desperation - so intrinsic to flamenco. Duende is an account of his years spent in Spain feeding his obsessive interest in flamenco: he subjects himself to the tyranny of his guitar teacher, practising for hours on end until his fingers bleed; he bec...
As Islam and the West prepare to clash once again, Jason Webster embarks on a quest to discover Spain's hidden Moorish legacy and lift the lid on a country once forged by both Muslims and Christians. He meets Zine, a young illegal immigrant from Morocco, a twenty-first century Moor, lured over with the promise of a job but exploited as a slave labourer on a fruit farm. Jason's life is threatened as he investigates the agricultural gulag, Zine rescues him, and the unlikely pair of writer and desperado take off on a rollercoaster ride through Andalucía. While Jason unveils the neglected Arab ancestry of modern Spain - apparent in its food, language, people and culture - Zine sets out on his own parallel quest, a one-man peace mission to resolve Muslim-Christian tensions by proving irresistible to Spanish señoritas.
Detective Max Cámara is under pressure. A renowned paella chef has been found dead; the town hall are set on demolishing El Cabanyal, the colourful fisherman's quarter on Valencia's sea-front; an abortionist has been kidnapped and with the Pope due to visit the city, the police are summoned to offer protection from crowds of the faithful and the danger of anti-religionists alike. When one of Cámara's long term adversaries is put in charge of the missing abortionist case, tensions are quickly running high, and with ominous cracks spreading across the walls of his flat, Cámara soon has nowhere to turn.
Jason Webster had lived in Spain for 15 years when he and his partner Salud, a flamenco dancer, tired of their city life and decided to buy a crumbling farmhouse clinging to the side of a steep valley in the eastern province of Castellón. He knew nothing about farming - he didn't even know what an almond tree looked like, or that he owned over 100 of them - but with help from local farmers and a twelfth-century book on gardening he set about recreating his dream. Sacred Sierra tells the story of their first year on the mountain, and how they cleared the land, planted and harvested olives, nurtured precious, expensive truffles, all while surviving gale force winds and scorching summer fires. While toying with the timeless, he also retells ancient legends and as the year passed, finds himself increasingly in tune with the ancient, mystical life of the sierra, a place that will haunt your imagination and raise your spirits.
Either you kill the bull, or the bull kills you - traditional proverb. Chief Inspector Max Cámara hates bullfighting but one hot afternoon in Valencia he has to replace his boss, judging a festival corrida that stars Spain's most famous young matador. That night, he is summoned back to the bullring where the young matador's dead body now lies, naked and mutilated. As the city prepares for Fallas, the five day festival of fireworks and celebrations, and the politicians work feverishly towards an election, Cámara hunts down his prey through the city's streets and bars. But as he follows the trail of death, money, corruption and sex in search of the killer, he must also battle his own demons and desires...
In the hills above Valencia is a notorious nightclub called Sunset. When its larger-than-life owner, Jose Luis, dies suddenly, everyone assumes it was a heart attack. Meanwhile, all is not well for Max Cámara at HQ. His new boss, Rita Hernández, has it in for him and his idiosyncratic methods. He must abandon a complex investigation to check out what looks like a routine death at Sunset. But an anonymous phone call suggests otherwise, leading him to an unholy network of drug dealers, priests and shady officials protecting a dark government secret.
Tensions in Spain are rising: political violence and social unrest have suddenly re-emerged. Madrid is trying to keep a tight leash on Catalonia, where the call for independence is getting louder by the day. The last time Barcelona moved to break away, in the 1930s, Spain quickly descended into civil war. Down in Valencia, a shallow grave is found among abandoned orange groves just outside the city. Chief Inspector Max Cámara, now heading up the new Special Crime Unit, is put on the case. But this is no ordinary murder. Behind it, Max uncovers a tangled web that could awaken ghosts from the past, decimate Barcelona and destabilise the whole country It’s all down to Max, but the stakes are higher than anything he’s ever known. 'One of the most creative writers working within the field of crime fiction, and one of the most entertaining' Daily Express 'A series that gets better and better' Mark Billingham 'Conveys a wonderful sense of Spain... [Webster] does for the country what Michael Dibdin did for Italy' Daily Mail 'An exceptional writer' Guardian
After twelve years in Spain, Jason Webster had developed a deep love for his adopted homeland; his life there seemed complete. But when he and his Spanish wife moved into an idyllic old farmhouse in the mountains north of Valencia, by chance he found an unmarked mass grave from the Spanish Civil War on his doorstep.Spurred to investigate the history of the Civil War, a topic many of his Spanish friends still seemed to treat as taboo, he began to uncover a darker side to the country. Witness to a brutal fist-fight sponsored by remnants of Franco's Falangists, arrested and threatened by the police in the former HQ of the Spanish Foreign Legion, sheltered by a beautiful transvestite, shunned by...
Spain is corrupt and on the brink of collapse.The king is ill, banks are closing, hospitals are in chaos, homes are lost, demonstrators riot and rightwing thugs patrol the street. The tunnels beneath the streets are at once a refuge and a source of anger. And as the blood flows Cámara roars in on his motorbike... Cámara is back in Valencia and in the old police headquarters the mood is tense as the chief hunts for cuts – who will go, Cámara or his friend Torres? The two men are flung into action investigating the suicide of an ex- bank clerk and the brutal murder of a young American woman. As the city erupts around them, their case takes them into the heart of the trouble.
Sent on leave after his last, brutal, case, Max Cámara returns to his home town in La Mancha, famous for producing the finest saffron in the world. There, the past keeps pulling at him. The town is exhuming a mass grave from the Civil War, but why is his grandfather behaving so strangely? His old friend Yago is investigating a particularly nasty murder which sets off memories Max has been trying to bury for years. And then there are Yago’s whisperings about a saffron mafia... Max finds himself plunged into the thick of a complex and intensely personal case that will put him in severe danger and have him questioning his past – and his future in the police.