Or the Bull Kills You
By Jason Webster
(Minotaur Books, Hardcover, 9780312581831, 304pp.)
Publication Date: September 13, 2011
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
Categories: Mystery & Detective - Police Procedural
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An accomplished debut mystery set in the high-stakes and decidedly murky world of bullfighting in Valencia, Spain
"Either you kill the bull, or the bull kills you." Chief Inspector Max Cámara thinks in proverbs,and he hates one thing above all: bullfighting. One hot afternoon in Valencia, however, he has to stand in for his boss, judging a festival corrida starring Spain’s most famous young matador. That night, he is back in the bullring, and what he finds on the blood-stained sand shocks the city of Valencia to its core. Cámara is roped into investigating a grisly murder while dealing with violent shadows from his own past, as well as confronting the suspiciousness of the bullfighting community and the stonewalling of local politicians in full electoral campaign. To top it all, Fallas, the loudest fiesta in the country, has just got underway. For Cámara, it seems his problems have only just begun...
Jason Webster was born in California and was brought up in England and Germany. After spells in Italy and Egypt, he moved to Spain in 1993, where he was inspired to write a number of highly acclaimed nonfiction titles. He lives near Valencia with his wife, the flamenco dancer, Salud, and their two sons. Visit his Web site at www.jasonwebster.net.
"The Spanish city of Valencia looks dazzling in Jason Webster's first novel. Even as the violence escalates and the symbolism thickens, the estimable Inspector Camara remains open-minded, if a bit cynical, about the grand follies of his beautiful city." --The New York Times "Webster...makes his scenes easy to visualize, uses believable dialog, and plays out the investigation in an assured manner. The author’s marvelously structured mystery not only reveals the complex politics behind bullfighting but also introduces us to colorful, tragic, and empathetic characters. The city of Valencia is a character as well, so strong is the sense of place...With its rapid pace and wonderfully flawed detective, this vibrant novel has tremendous appeal."--Library Journal (starred review, debut of the month) "[A] remarkable first novel, a baffling mystery...Webster makes the bullfighting integral to the plot rather than a mere backdrop, effortlessly conveying the role of the sport in Spanish society. The well-rounded lead--cynical, willing to bend the rules, emotionally wounded--should be more than capable of sustaining a long series."--Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Max and his police assistants are intriguing and well-drawn characters, and the Valencia setting is unique and well described." -- Booklist "Webster’s insights into bullfighting shed light on aspects of the Spanish character, lifting this debut and its bleak and brooding protagonist above the ordinary." -- Kirkus Reviews "Or The Bull Kills You is a superb Spanish police procedural starring a somewhat cynical dedicated cop who steps into the bullring, a place he loathes. The country's culture and heritage, the city, the two faced politicians and the sport provide strong pillars to a terrific whodunit as Camara feels the fishbowl effect as he works a case from inside the bullring with figuratively everyone in the stands watching his investigation." -- Midwest Book Reviews "A sensational debut. Gripping, sexy and above all evocative of Spain's dark underbelly, it's a must-read crime novel." -- Tarquin Hall, author of the Vish Puri mysteries "Webster has penned a great book."--The Bookseller "This inner journey of one of the most attractive figures to enter recent detective fiction is set amid a splendidly authentic Valencia...Like the best detective stories, this book becomes a scrutiny of our own most powerful drives and secrets." -- The Independent "For its nifty plotting, great descriptions and the most enchanting new detective I've come across in a good while, I award this novel both ears and the tail."--The Guardian