Here at Eye on Spain we often get sent new books about Spain to read and review. The problem is that we rarely come across any worthy of a mention.
The best example of this was a couple of years ago when a very large publishing house, beginning with “M”, sent us a book written by a British person who had bought a couple of old properties in an Andalucian village. The book was about her nightmares doing up these houses.
I have respected the publishing house and the author by not naming them here but the book was just awful. You ended up hating the author with the way she came across and the way in which she referred to people in such a derogatory fashion.
And this was published by one of the big publishing houses!
Suffice to say we didn’t publish our review which indirectly should have made them aware that even my 8 year old daughter could have written a better book.
A new life in Spain
Over the past few years there have been many of these types of books published, written by people who have moved to Spain and set up a new life here, with the most famous probably being “Driving Over Lemons” by Chris Stewart.
I haven’t read many of them but the most recent one I recommended was Victoria Tweeds brilliant book “Chickens, Mules and Two Old Fools”. It’s very entertaining and is a great read.
I was recently approached by another new author, Robert Tenison, who has published a book called “Deadly Secrets”.
Deadly Secrets is a story of bribery, corruption, money laundering and murder in Andalucia. The action takes place in the (fictional) coastal town of Los Cipreses as well as in Granada, Madrid, London, the Cayman Islands and Seville.
At first I didn’t know what I would make of this book so I met up with Robert to chat about it and he gave me a complimentary copy to read :-).
I was very impressed by Robert, a very intelligent and articulate man. He really had done some astonishing amount of research for his book and having lived in Marbella for several years, was well aware of some of the goings-on there during the “corruption years”.
Robert was born to Spanish parents in the UK, has an investment banking background, speaks fluent Spanish and understands the Spanish culture perfectly.
After our chat and a coffee at Terra Sana in Nueva Andalucia I walked away with my copy of Deadly Secrets in hand wondering what I would say to Robert if I thought his book was a load of crap. I have been in this situation before.
But I shouldn’t have worried. I couldn’t put this book down. Everywhere I went the book came with me, reading as much as I could at every opportunity. Bank queues, tax office queues, the toilet, everywhere! OK, too much information there.
I loved it. I loved the story, the characters, the intrigue, the plot, everything.
It reminded me a little of the movie “The Business” which is set in the 80s in Southern Spain, and the writing style is similar to perhaps John Grisham. A great combination!
To quote Robert’s own words:
“Andy Montalvo arrives in the Southern Spanish coastal resort of Los Cipreses following the unexpected death of his old friend Mike Cameron. As Andy looks into Mike's death, he finds himself drawn into an investigation involving greed, corruption and money laundering by the beautiful, but engimatic, Cristina Ibañez.
Together, Andy and Cristina uncover more details about Mike’s death, as well as the money laundering operation, but the body count rises before they finally establish the truth.”
It’s a great story and although it’s fictional you can’t help but see that there is some reality in the story. It’s the sort of story which some people would probably rather wish was never written.
You can’t have my copy
Robert doesn’t know I’m writing this about his book today. I haven’t told him what I think of the book yet, but I’m sure he’ll be pleased with what I’ve written.
Now, you can’t have my copy as I really would like to keep it, but you can get your own. And if you want a great read which does reflect a different side to life in Spain, then here’s how to get it.
By the way, I’m not getting paid to write this or to recommend it (Robert only bought me a coffee!). The link to buy it is not an affiliate link or anything. I just like the book, the author and I’m sure you would like it too, which is why I am recommending it to you.
Please bear in mind that Robert has self-published this book so he suggests the best ways for you to buy it on his website. You can find out how to buy it on his website at:
I hope you enjoy the book. It is a great read and very different to any other Spain book I've ever read!
Anyone else got a book they’d like us to review? Get in touch and if we like it we’ll tell everyone about it. If we don’t we won’t!