Mark Oldfield

'Lilac Lamb' (Amazon) The sequel to The Sentinel sees secret policeman Guzmán posted to the Basque Country in the 1950's, where he is haunted by his past and faced with rising nationalism and old vendettas. In the present, Ana Maria Galindez is investigating the scandal of the children stolen at birth during Franco's dictatorship. As in The Sentinel, the stories are linked, and revelations in the present give clues about past events. This is not for the faint hearted - there are detailed descriptions of violence and torture. The plot is satisfyingly complex and fast paced. Guzmán's cynical wit and charisma makes him a hugely attractive hero despite his many failings. More of his past is revealed and the reader can't help rooting for him as he seeks to complete his mission and return to his beloved Madrid. A really exciting novel which hints that there is more to come. I hope so!

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The Exile

From: Mark Oldfield


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San Sebastian, 1954: Comandante Guzmán, Franco's one-time favourite secret policeman is out of favour and exiled to the Basque country. Guzmán was last here during the war, heading a platoon of bloodthirsty irregulars. He'd rather forget that. But, up in the hills, he'll find he hasn't been forgotten at all.

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