The Devils Of Cardona
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"A thrilling quest for justice... [A] novel that is as exciting as it is enlightening from its first pages to its satisfying end.” —The New York Times Book Review “A page-turner in the proper sense… Mr. Carr has written a gripping and enjoyable novel.” —The Wall Street Journal The gripping story of the dangerous high-stakes worlds of politics and religion in sixteenth-century Spain as a mysterious Muslim killer retaliates against the Catholic Church. In March 1584, the priest of Belamar de la Sierra, a small town in Aragon near the French border, is murdered in his own church. Most of the town’s inhabitants are Moriscos, former Muslims who converted to Catholicism. Anxious to avert a violent backlash on the eve of a royal visit, an adviser to King Philip II appoints local magistrate Bernardo de Mendoza to investigate. A soldier and humanist, Mendoza doesn’t always live up to the moral standards expected of court officials, but he has a reputation for incorruptibility. From the beginning, Mendoza finds almost universal hatred for the priest. And it isn’t long before he’s drawn into a complex and dangerous world in which greed, fanaticism, and state policy overlap. And as the killings continue, Mendoza's investigation is overshadowed by the real prospect of an ethnic and religious civil war. By turns an involving historical thriller and a novel with parallels to our own time, The Devils of Cardona is an unexpected and compelling read.
A sweeping historical travelogue of the contentious border of France and Spain, in the great tradition of Bruce Chatwin and Jan Morris With the Catalonia crisis making international headlines, the unique cultural and geographic region bordering Spain and France has once again moved to the center of the world’s attention. In The Savage Frontier, acclaimed author and journalist Matthew Carr uncovers the fascinating, multilayered story of the Pyrenees region—at once a forbidding, mountainous frontier zone of stunning beauty, home to a unique culture, and a site of sharp conflict between nations and empires. Carr follows the routes taken by monks, soldiers, poets, pilgrims, and refugees. He examines the people and events that have shaped the Pyrenees across the centuries, with a cast of characters including Napoleon, Hannibal, and Charlemagne; the eccentric British climber Henry Russell; Francisco Sabaté Llopart, the Catalan anarchist who waged a lone war against the Franco regime across the Pyrenees for years after the civil war; Camino de Santiago pilgrims; and the cellist Pablo Casals, who spent twenty-three years in exile only a few miles from the Spanish border to show his disgust and disapproval of the Spanish regime. The Savage Frontier is a book that will spark a new awareness and appreciation of one of the most haunting, magical, and dramatic landscapes on earth.
A riveting thriller combining real historical events and characters with a sinister detective story of eugenics, racism, and nationalist paranoia. Barcelona, summer 1909. When the scientist and explorer Randolph Foulkes is blown up in a random terrorist bomb attack, private detective Harry Lawton is hired by the man’s widow to identify the beneficiary of a large payment Foulkes had made shortly before his death. Lawton’s arrival in the Catalan capital coincides with a series of unusual killings that appear to have been carried out by a blood-drinking animal in the Ramblas district and adds another element of instability to a city already teetering on the brink of insurrection. Lawton soon meets and teams up with Esperanza Claramunt, a young anarchist whose lover was one of the victims of the “beast of the Ramblas,” and the Catalan crime reporter Bernat Mata, who has begun investigating these crimes. So what begins as a straightforward investigation into presumed marital infidelity turns into something far more sinister, as Lawton probes Foulkes’ connections to the mysterious Explorers Club, the Barcelona political police, and an eccentric Austrian hypnotist. Adrift in a city gripped by rebellion and lawlessness, Lawton enters a labyrinth of murder, corruption, political conflict, and crazed racial pseudo-science where no one’s survival is guaranteed.
In 1609, Philip III signed an edict denouncing the Muslims of Spain as heretics & the entire population was given three days to leave, on threat of death. In the exodus, 300,000 Muslims were deported & by 1614 Spain had successfully implemented the largest act of ethnic cleansing in European history. The author chronicles this episode.
Every year on 11 September, Catalonia celebrates its Diada, its National Day. But the Diada of 2012 was like none other, as an enormous crowd calling for Catalan independence took over the heart of Barcelona. Despite the carnival-like atmosphere that day, the people were very serious about their demands. On the back of this show of force, Catalonia's governing politicians turned secessionist claims into a new headache for a government in Madrid that had only just survived a near-meltdown of Spain's financial system. Four years later, the separatist challenge has neither come to fruition, nor faded away. This book looks at how and why Catalan separatism reached the top of Spain's political agenda, as well as its connection to the broader European malaise generated by flawed political responses to financial and other crises. Through extensive travel and reporting, as well as over fifty interviews with leading Catalan personalities, Raphael Minder explains how Catalans feel about their economy, history and culture, and how secessionist forces have tried to reshape Catalan identity.
**Named a Best Book of the Year by the Boston Globe and Los Angeles Times** From the internationally acclaimed author of The Infatuations comes the mesmerizing story of a couple living in the shadow of a mysterious, unhappy history--a novel about the cruel, tender punishments we exact on those we love. Madrid, 1980. Juan de Vere, nearly finished with his university degree, takes a job as personal assistant to Eduardo Muriel, an eccentric, once-successful film director. Urbane, discreet, irreproachable, Muriel is an irresistible idol to the young man. But Muriel's voluptuous wife, Beatriz, inhabits their home like an unwanted ghost; and on the periphery of their lives is Dr. Jorge Van Vechten, a family friend implicated in unsavory rumors that Muriel now asks Juan to investigate. As Juan draws closer to the truth, he uncovers only more questions. What is at the root of Muriel's hostility toward his wife? How did Beatriz meet Van Vechten? What happened during the war? Mar�as leads us deep into the intrigues of these characters, through a daring exploration of rancor, suspicion, loyalty, trust, and the infinitely permeable boundaries between the deceptions perpetrated on us by others and those we inflict upon ourselves.
From New York Times–bestselling author Philip Kerr, the much anticipated return of Bernie Gunther in a series hailed by The Daily Beast as “the best crime novels around today.” Once I’d been a good detective in Kripo, but that was a while ago, before the criminals wore smart gray uniforms and nearly everyone locked up was innocent.” Being a Berlin cop in 1942 was a little like putting down mousetraps in a cage full of tigers. The war is over. Bernie Gunther, our sardonic former Berlin homicide detective and unwilling SS officer, is now living on the French Riviera. It is 1956 and Bernie is the go-to guy at the Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat, the man you turn to for touring tips or if you need a fourth for bridge. As it happens, a local writer needs just that, someone to fill the fourth seat in a regular game that is the usual evening diversion at the Villa Mauresque. Not just any writer. Perhaps the richest and most famous living writer in the world: W. Somerset Maugham. And it turns out it is not just a bridge partner that he needs; it’s some professional advice. Maugham is being blackmailed—perhaps because of his unorthodox lifestyle. Or perhaps because of something in his past, because once upon a time, Maugham worked for the British secret service, and the people now blackmailing him are spies. As Gunther fans know, all roads lead back to the viper’s nest that was Hitler’s Third Reich and to the killing fields that spread like a disease across Europe. Even in 1956, peace has not come to the continent: now the Soviets have the H-bomb and spies from every major power feel free to make all of Europe their personal playground. From the Hardcover edition.
Singled out by Foreign Affairs for its reporting on “the brutal frontiers of new Europe,” Fortress Europe is the story of how the world’s most affluent region—and history’s greatest experiment with globalization—has become an immigration war zone, where tens of thousands have died in a humanitarian crisis that has galvanized the world’s attention. Journalist Matthew Carr brings to life remarkable human dramas, based on ex- tensive interviews and firsthand reporting from the hot zones of Europe’s immigration battles, in a narrative that moves from the desperate immigrant camps at the mouth of the Channel Tunnel in Calais, France, to the chaotic Mediterranean sea, where African migrants have drowned by the thousands. Speaking with key European policy makers, police, soldiers on the front lines, immigrant rights activists, and an astonishing range of migrants themselves, Carr offers a lucid account both of the broad issues at stake in the crisis and its exorbitant human costs. The paperback edition includes a new afterword by the author, which offers an up-to-the-minute assessment of the 2015 crisis and a searing critique of Europe’s response to the new waves of refugees.
When Eliza Carmody returns to her small hometown after a destructive wildfire, she witnesses a crime that draws her back into the mysteries of a childhood she thought she’d left behind for good. When the biggest legal case of her career brings Eliza Carmody back to Kinsale, the hometown she thought she had left forever, she witnesses an old friend commit a crime that sends her on a dangerous quest to uncover the mysteries of her childhood that the rest of the town seems willing to ignore. With her friend on the run and the police investigating the bones of an unidentified dead body at a historic homestead near town, Eliza becomes convinced that the truth lies in her memories of the New Year’s Eve years ago when her friend Grace disappeared from Kinsale forever. While Eliza desperately explores the connections between the crimes of the present and those of the past, she begins to suspect that no one — even her own family — is telling the truth.
A true life Water for Elephants, Queen of the Air brings the circus world to life through the gorgeously written, true story of renowned trapeze artist and circus performer Leitzel, Queen of the Air, the most famous woman in the world at the turn of the 20th century, and her star-crossed love affair with Alfredo Codona, of the famous Flying Codona Brothers. Like today's Beyonce, Madonna, and Cher, she was known to her vast public by just one name, Leitzel. There may have been some regions on earth where her name was not a household expression, but if so, they were likely on polar ice caps or in the darkest, deepest jungles. Leitzel was born into Dickensian circumstances, and became a princess and then a queen. She was not much bigger than a good size fairy, just four-foot-ten and less than 100 pounds. In the first part of the 20th century, she presided over a sawdust fiefdom of never-ending magic. She was the biggest star ever of the biggest circus ever, the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, The Greatest Show on Earth. In her life, Leitzel had many suitors (and three husbands), but only one man ever fully captured her heart. He was the handsome Alfredo Codona, the greatest trapeze flyer that had ever lived, the only one in his time who, night after night, executed the deadliest of all big-top feats, The Triple--three somersaults in midair while traveling at 60 m.p.h. The Triple, the salto mortale, as the Italians called it, took the lives of more daredevils than any other circus stunt.