It's almost three years since The Hidden Assassins (PB referenced) came out in HB in the UK and now, the fourth and final of the Javier Falcón quartet will be published by HarperCollins on 5 March. It was with great delight this morning that I heard a postman squeeze/shove/thrust/ram a Jiffy bag through my letter box, followed by that old familiar light thump of a hardback landing on the mat, a mere four or so inches down. Yes, The Ignorance of Blood had arrived, just in time for the weekend and just as I am completing two other novels. Perfect timing. (My thanks to HC's PR team who were kind enough to send me a copy after I was cheeky enough to ask after they contacted me to promote Simone van der Vlugt, more on this author later.)
The cover is lovely and the picture above does not do it justice. To get a better idea, take a look at the author's site, especially the Javier Falcón section which includes the graphics that decorate the back cover. As for the site, it's one of the best, if not the best author site I've seen so far. The reader gets to see the author's study and understand how he writes. It's informative and fun and it also captures the life of the author. Narrative on the pages often takes the form of short quirkily-headed paragraphs, which adds a dash of originality and is easy to read. Now then, the synopsis of The Ignorance of Blood runs thus:
In the wake of a terrorist attack on Seville, Inspector Jefe Javier Falcón is determined to fulfil his promise to its citizens – that he will bring the real perpetrators to justice. The violent death of a gangster provides evidence implicating the Russian mafia in the outrage, but pitches Falcón straight into the heart of a turf war over prostitution and drugs.
Now the target of brutal thugs, Falcón finds that those closest to him are also coming under intolerable pressure. His closest friend, who's spying for the Spanish government, reveals that he is being blackmailed by Islamist extremists and Falcón's own lover suffers a mother's worst nightmare.
Confronted by such fanaticism and violence, Falcón realises that only the most ruthless retaliation will work. But there's a terrible price to pay…
Wilson is a keen international citizen and to date has written books based in Africa, Portugal and Spain. Now that the fourth and final Falcón has been delivered for readers, a Q&A session with the author at the Amazon book link above suggests he may be moving on to a British protagonist next. Very conscious of cultural differences and how different Europeans speak – e.g. the Brits use humour to overcome their shyness, whereas the Spanish just simply talk – Wilson enjoyed the freedom when writing of MI5 and counter-terrorism officers in The Ignorance of Blood. He concluded "It did make me think that I would like to write a thriller with a British protagonist and that’s where I’m headed at the moment."
HarperCollins have kindly offered me the opportunity of interviewing Mr Wilson in the first week of March. I'll be sure to explore the "What next?" scenario, as I accepted their kind offer, obviously. It's a privilege.
Finally, if you are an aficionado – and I know there are plenty of you out there – do let me know if you have any burning questions you'd like to put to him, as I will work them in. Comments here or private emails are both welcome. But do get back to me by Friday 27 Feb, as this one requires a bit of organisation.
As I have said before on here, I have a few "Everything stops for tea" authors where tea-time becomes concentrated and elongated read-time. When the next novel comes, everything stops for me to read it (emergencies excluded). My top three are Robert Wilson, Minette Walters and of course, John Lawton, in no particular order. I am planning to start The Ignorance of Blood on Sunday, so expect a downslide in net activity. I'll be busy reading and enjoying, and summarising my thoughts on the novel as soon as I am able.
'"Ooh, it's a real event," she squeals, like a teenager.' There's nothing like a bit of Friday-in-late-February-morning-sunshine and a welcome thump on the mat to cause a change of plan for the weekend. Too right; it's called The Ignorance of Blood by Robert Wilson, arriving on a supremely timely basis.