Burgen, Stephen. Walking the Lions. Carroll & Graf. June 2002. c304p. ISBN 0-7867-1024-1. $25. Fiction.

Burgen’s debut is a well-written contemporary political thriller animated by a mystery dating back to the Spanish Civil War. Alex Nadal, a musician in New York, inherits a farm near Barcelona from an aunt he had always been told had died 60 years earlier. When he arrives to claim his inheritance, Alex finds that he is an unwelcome intruder, shadowed by his father’s reputation. His father had left the area at the end of the civil war, suspected of having betrayed three boys to the Fascists, who then executed them. No one wants to discuss the past, however, nor what is going on in the present. All Alex knows for sure is that someone has threatened to kill him if he doesn’t sell the farm. Determined to find out what really happened in 1938, he enlists the aid of a journalist named Carmen. They soon find themselves pitted against one of Catalunya’s heroes, Salvador Oriol, a man whose past is inextricably tied to that of Alex’s father. This solid thriller, imbued with the atmosphere of modern Catalunya and peopled by intriguing characters, is recommended for collections of popular fiction. [Throughout, the text uses the Catalan spelling for the region known to English speakers as Catalonia.]

LJ, 127, no. 8 (May 1, 2002), 131.

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