Wilson, Robert. The Blind Man of Seville. Harcourt, February 2003. c448p. ISBN 0-15-100835-3. $26. Fiction.

Alternately a melodrama and a travelogue through the streets of Seville, Wilson’s latest (after The Company of Strangers) shares several features that made his first novel, A Small Death in Lisbon, an award winner. The best parts are the journals of the protagonist’s father—a fascinating re-creation of the Spanish Civil War, World War II on the Russian front, and the postwar years in Tangier. Javier Falcón, chief homicide detective in Seville, has a ghastly murder to solve, one that inexplicably strikes into the depths of his being. When two similar murders follow, Falcón finds himself facing a midlife crisis as he penetrates his own past to find connections between the victims and his recently deceased father, a famous painter who lived a life of hidden depravity. The complex story that follows is skillfully developed, and the work as a whole becomes a tour-de-force of psychological probing, marred only by a sometimes baroque style in which the intensity of the language surpasses the drama of the narrated events. Highly recommended for most public libraries.

LJ, 128, no. 1 (January 2003), 161.

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