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. Perfectly understandable for a man of his age, size and lifestyle.
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 into home-grown extremism to check out what looks like a routine death at Sunset. But an anonymous phone call suggests otherwise…
Back in the city, Max’s journalist girlfriend, Alicia, is working on a lead that could turn out to be the story of her career. How her own investigation connects with Max’s at Sunset, and an unholy network of drug dealers, priests and shady officials protecting a dark government secret, will place both their lives in jeopardy and push everything to the very edge.
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
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.
He fought on both sides in the Spanish Civil War. He was awarded the Iron Cross by Hitler and an MBE by Britain. To MI5 he was known as Garbo. To the Abwehr, he was Alaric. He also went by Rags the Indian Poet, Mrs Gerbers, Stanley the Welsh Nationalist – and 24 other names. He tricked Hitler over D-Day. He was the greatest double agent in history.
But who, exactly, was Juan Pujol?
Using his intimate knowledge of Spain and his skills as a crime novelist, Jason Webster tells for the first time the full true story of the character who captured the imagination in Ben Macintyre’s Double Cross. He tells of Pujol’s early life in Spain, his determination to fight totalitarianism and his strange journey from German spy to MI5. Working for the British, whom he saw as the exemplars of freedom and democracy, he created a bizarre fictional network of spies – 29 of them – that misled the entire German high command, including Hitler himself. Above all, in Operation Fortitude he diverted German Panzer divisions away from Normandy, playing a crucial role in safeguarding D-Day and ending the war, and securing his reputation as the most successful double agent of the war.
Meticulously researched, yet told with the verve of a thriller, The Spy with 29 Names uncovers the truth – far stranger than any fiction – about the spy behind one of recent history’s most important and dramatic events.
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.
It is Christmas day, and Max Cámara has a hangover. He’s due in his hometown of Albacete for lunch with his grandfather Hilario, but instead he’s called out to a local nightclub where things have gone horribly wrong. There, it’s still very much the morning after the night before. Cámara must untangle a tragic truth from a cast of extraordinary nativity characters, fresh from a performance the likes of which he’s never come across before.
'A series that just gets better and better. Each Max Cámara novel is a treat to savour' Mark Billingham
'conveys a wonderful sense of Spain... [Webster] does for the country what Michael Dibdin did for Italy' Geoffrey Wansell, Daily Mail
'All great cities need a fictional cop, and now Valencia has one of the very best in Jason Webster's dope smoking Chief Inspector Max Cámara. Step into his world of the corrida, corruption, and clouds of saffron and you'll be hooked. But if he offers you a roll-up…' Quintin Jardine
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.
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...
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.
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.
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 locals, haunted by ghosts and finally robbed of his identity, Webster encountered a legacy of cruelty and violence that seems to linger on seventy years after the bloody events of that war.
As in Webster's previous books, Duende and Andalus, ¡Guerra! reveals the essence of modern Spain, which few outsiders ever manage to see. Fascinating true stories from the Civil War, vividly retold as he travels around the country. Yet the more Webster unveils of the passions that set one countryman against another, the more he is led to wonder: could the dark, primitive currents that ripped the country apartin the 1930s still be stirring under the sophisticated, worldly surface of today's Spain?
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 becomes involved in a passionate affair with Lola, a flamenco dancer (and older woman) married to the gun-toting Vicente, only to flee Alicante in fear of his life; in Madrid, he falls in with Gypsies and meets the imperious Jesús. Joining their dislocated, cocaine-fuelled world, stealing cars by night and sleeping away the days in tawdry rooms, he finds himself spiralling self-destructively downwards. It is only when he arrives in Granada bruised and battered, after two years total immersion in the flamenco lifestyle that he is able to put his obsession into context.
In the tradition of Laurie Lee's classic As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, Duende charts a young man's emotional coming of age and offers real insight into the passionate essence of flamenco.
Brought up in England, Jason Webster has lived for many years in Spain. His acclaimed non-fiction books about Spain include Duende: A Journey in Search of Flamenco; Andalus: Unlocking the Secrets of Moorish Spain; Guerra: Living in the Shadows of the Spanish Civil War; Sacred Sierra: A Year on a Spanish Mountain and The Spy with 29 Names. His Max Cámara series of crime novels started with Or the Bull Kills You, which was was longlisted for the CWA Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards New Blood Dagger 2011. This was followed by A Death in Valencia, The Anarchist Detective, Blood Med and A Body in Barcelona.