Midnight in Madrid by Noel Hynd
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I've read a number of spy-suspense novels, including Le Carre, and I was interested to see how the genre evolves in our post-Cold War era. Sadly, this wasn't really the best example: the writing wasn't tight enough, with too much exposition-as-filler and too much repetition (i.e., in a four sentence paragraph about music, the word "some" was used five times). And then there's the walk-on character whose name changed from Leila to Celia and back.
The plot revolves around an art theft that possibly will finance an terrorist plot, blended with some "continuing my mentor's journey" revenge. There's quite a bit on the difficulties of solving these thefts (a little too much), on small terrorist cells operating virtually on their own, the culture of Madrid (including the late dinners and even later evenings) and antiquities that include underground tunnels possibly used during the Civil War (which side is a little unclear, but it was probably both). As for the suspense, it's there, but the general mood is lessened because of the avalanche of background filler.
Copy provided by publisher.
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