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The Vanished Hands


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About the Author

ROBERT WILSON is the author of numerous novels, including The Company of Strangers and A Small Death in Lisbon, which won the Gold Dagger Award as Best Crime Novel of the Year from Britain's Crime Writers' Association. A graduate of Oxford University, he has worked in shipping, advertising, and trading in Africa, and has lived in Greece, Portugal, and West Africa.


When is a suicide not a suicide? That's what Wilson stalwart Javier Falc?n must find out. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

In Wilson's intricate police procedural set in Seville, Spain-the second to feature introspective detective Javier Falcon-a wealthy couple is found dead in their home: Lucia Vega has been suffocated in her own bed; her husband, construction magnate Rafael Vega, is lying on the kitchen floor, poisoned, with a cryptic note in his hand. Is it a murder-suicide-or something more sinister? Falcon's subsequent investigation reveals a vast criminal conspiracy involving the Russian mafia (crime writing's new favorite bad guys) and human trafficking for prostitution and child pornography (crime writing's new favorite transgressions). As usual, Wilson deftly deploys a vast cast of characters, from an ex-pat American couple to a popular Spanish actor, and spins his trademark web of corruption and deceit. But while Falcon is consistently compelling, struggling with his internal demons and with the challenge of ridding Seville of its moral bankruptcy, the plot itself is too complex to really be engaging. In addition, too many references to the first Falcon novel, The Blind Man of Seville, will confuse new readers. The story of one young Russian prostitute-she's promised a job as a waitress in Portugal and ends up working the streets in Spain-is a chilling reminder of the evil that men do, but her frightening tale is lost in the convoluted story. Agent, Anthony Sheil at Gillon Aitken. (Jan. 3) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"A splendid assembly of complexities and relationships that tangle generations in murder and scandal . . . Wilson has a talent for digging beneath the skin to explore psychological and emotional nuances." -New York Daily News
"This splendid, long and involving novel from Robert Wilson is consistently stunning, intriguing, and arresting." -St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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