Tangled Web UK Review July 1999
File Updated: 30/03/00
A Small Death in Lisbon A Small Death in Lisbon by Robert Wilson
hbk out July 99 Published by HarperCollins at 9.99
Robert Wilson's first four novels were superbly realised thrillers set against the steamy, corrupt background of West Africa. Now he has turned his attention nearer to home with a gripping and absorbing drama that spans Europe from wartime Berlin to contemporary Lisbon.
Moving effortlessly between past and present, the story begins with the smuggling of Nazi gold in 1941 and the death of a sexually precocious teenager in the present day. Klaus Felsen is drafted into the SS to set up a supply operation from neutral Portugal. It's a move whose repercussions rumble through the intervening years, ripples spreading out like a poisonous contagion to destroy lives and pervert innocence.
Investigating this tortuous collision of past and present is the engaging Portuguese homicide cop Ze Coelho, a complex and perceptive man struggling to deal with the death of his wife and his relationship with his own teenage daughter. Robert Wilson is a masterful craftsman, and with this atmospheric page-turner, he should find the wide readership he amply deserves.


( Val McDermid - Gold Dagger winner & creator of Lindsay Gordon, Kate Brannigan & Tony Hill)

top