The Summer Snow
In the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, Carlos Tejada travels home to Granada to investigate his great-aunt’s death. Accompanying him are his wife, Elena, and their young son. Almost immediately, the journey sours. Carlos, a lieutenant in the Fascist regime’s Guardia Civil, belongs to the landed gentry and is one of the “winners” in the brutal civil war previously depicted in Pawel’s stunning series debut, Death of A Nationalist. Carlos’s mother detests his Communist wife; few in his family respect his military career. Still, there is a murder to solve, and he sets out to investigate, growing increasingly uneasy as evidence points at family members.
This fourth book in the Carlos Tejada series rings with humanity and the nature of truth. Am I a bad man? Carlos asks. Yes. Often. He has the power of life and death at hand, and seldom hesitates to use it. It is those moments when he does hesitate that keep this series compelling. Regrettably, while character and setting remain Pawel’s main strength, soft storylines plague the later books. Pawel’s writing is so fine, however, that it demands attention. One can only hope that with time, her novels will satisfy on every level.