1940: The Spanish Civil War is over, and Madrid lies ruined, its people starving, while the Germans continue their relentless march through Europe. Britain now stands alone while General Franco considers whether to abandon neutrality and enter the war. Into this uncertain world comes Harry Brett: a traumatised veteran of Dunkirk turned reluctant spy for the British Secret Service. Sent to gain the confidence of old school friend Sandy Forsyth, now a shady Madrid businessman, Harry finds himself involved in a dangerous game and surrounded by memories. Meanwhile, Sandy's girlfriend, ex-Red Cross nurse Barbara Clare, is engaged on a secret mission of her own: to find her former lover Bernie Piper, a passionate Communist in the International Brigades, who vanished on the bloody battlefields of the Jarama. In a vivid and haunting depiction of wartime Spain, Winter in Madrid is an intimate and compelling tale that offers a remarkable sense of history unfolding and the profound impact of impossible choices.More
"This multilayered novel is up there with Greene and Le Carré. War-torn Spain, the deadly forces of political intrigue and the passions of these enmeshed human victims are powerfully evoked and the narration is masterful."(Observer Review)
"Brilliantly read by Simon Russell Beale and his delivery completely enhances Sansom's superb creation of atmosphere and characterisation. A stunner." (Daily Express)
"Sansom adroitly draws the disparate strands of his ambitious saga together. His non-pareil evocations of time and place anchor his characters with satisfying precision." (Independent)
"Few authors have the ability, or capacity for research, which allows them to capture the mood and atmosphere of a period in history, so when one does, and does it as well as CJ Sansom in Winter in Madrid, then they deserve not only praise but success." (Tony Galvin, Dublin Evening Herald)
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Interesting historical context - Spanish Civil War
The narration is so sombre I've had to give up. I'm sorry to say that the downcast narration ruins the story.