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An authentic page-turner set in the Civil War, with an intriguing plot full of twists.
During the Civil War, Mastreta, a man with a dark past, is forcibly recruited by the Republican government intelligence to take on a delicate mission: to recover a film that is in the hands of a Russian traitor and proves the mass executions of national prisoners. Its publication could have unfavorable publicity effects for the Republicans.
In San Sebastian, taken months earlier by the Nationalist troops and under a fictitious identity, Mastreta contacts Frederika Heinz, a young and attractive German agent, whom the German government has sent to lead an expedition to help obtain the film. Frederika is an independent woman with behaviour that is too liberal for what the Spanish military on the National side are used to. In the propaganda war, getting the film of the executions committed by the Republicans and publishing it could be the key in to punishing the Republic and covering up the bad international image of the Nationalists after the bombing of Guernica.
But it is a very dangerous double game: Mastreta’s mission is not what it seems, and nor is Frederika’s, leading things to get very complicated.
“I’ve met others like you. They get so involved that they get themselves killed. They don’t mind the danger, on the contrary, they like it, it motivates them. For guys like you there has to be an ending, good or bad, but there has to be an ending.”
Thanks to the brilliant characterisation of the protagonists and wonderfully shaped plot, this book encompasses the best of the classic thriller tradition. Echoes of Graham Greene and John Le Carré, or of films such as The Third Man or Schindler’s List resonate in every chapter.