The Maze of Cadiz

Written by Aly Monroe
Review by Edward James

Aly Monroe’s debut novel launches the career of Peter Cotton, British Intelligence officer, which Monroe intends to follow through the post-war years in future novels. Set in Cadiz in southern Spain in the aftermath of the Civil War, the major strength of this book is its sense of place. It reeks of the poverty, seediness and despair of a ravaged land, reminiscent of much of Graham Greene. Like Greene, Monroe lines up an array of strong and picturesque characters, but for a thriller there is an extremely slender plot.

Most of the hero’s adventures consist of long enigmatic conversations with no real action before the penultimate chapter. I look forward to Peter Cotton seeing some brisker action in his next posting.