Monday, May 14, 2012

The Sadness of the Samurai-Victor del Arbol

The Sadness of the Samurai

Victor del Arbol

Henry Holt, May 22 2012, $28.00

ISBN: 9780805094756

In 1981 in Barcelona, thirty-something lawyer MarĂ­a Bengoecha lies dying on a hospital deathbed while under police guard. Her pending death is the only reason Maria is not on trial for numerous homicides including the Mola brothers as part of an anti-fascist movement when she allegedly helped Cesar Alcala escape from custody. Not in the news about the anti-fascist conspiracy is clever homicidal Congressman Publio.

In 1941 in Merida, Spain Isabel Mola tries to escape from her violent husband with her son Andres. She had hoped to leave with her lover but a betrayal thwarts that. While her husband's clever homicidal top aide Publio seeks her out, Isabel is sad over leaving behind her other child Fernando while taking the train to Portugal.

The prime subplots are four decades apart, but connected by family ties and fascism. Readers will appreciate the first English translation of a Victor del Arbol’s novel as the aptly titled The Sadness of the Samurai is a great historical suspense.

Harriet Klausner

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