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Robert Wilson

Harper Collins £12.99 hbk

Reviewed by Peter Guttridge

Robert Wilson introduces a new series character in The Blind Man of Seville. Spanish detective Javier Falcon is, according to the publisher's blurb, 'set to rival Rebus and Alex Cross' and is 'the most brilliantly imagined and intriguing new detective in the world of crime thrillers'. Steady on there. Falcon is a welcome addition to the crime scene but Rebus or Cross he ain't. He belongs more to that European tradition that includes Dibdin's Zen, Leon's Commissario Brunetti and, as honorary member, John Harvey's Resnick. Falcon is a cultivated, intelligent man. Yet what he has made himself - the dispassionate professional - is threatened by the crimes he is investigating in Seville. The first murder victim is discovered during Holy Week. He is a leading restaurateur, bound and gagged in his apartment in front of a TV screen and video player. While alive, his eyelids were removed to oblige him to watch whatever was playing on the video. It must have been something horrific because he caused himself terrible injuries trying to avoid looking. More victims are discovered and the more Falcon investigates, the more he finds that the solution may lie among his own family's dark secrets. This is powerful, evocative stuff.