Three lost souls find new direction in this debut thriller.
In this first book in his planned Andalusian Mystery series, debut author Bradley brings together a grizzled, Spanish veteran detective, a British entrepreneur, and an American videographer who work together to solve the mystery behind the disappearance of a beautiful British waitress. DI Leon Prado had been a star in his department until a kidnapping case gone awry sent him and his career into a tailspin. He’s just beginning to get his bearings again when he’s handed a new assignment to investigate crimes involving foreigners in Malaga, Spain. Phillip Armitage is an expatriate British businessman who moved to the country to escape the painful memories of a failed marriage. His new problem is that he’s smitten by Juliet, a young waitress who reminds him of his unfaithful ex-spouse. The orbits of Leon and Phillip intersect when Phillip’s Belgian friend Marcel Faucher is questioned regarding a murder and Leon needs an interpreter. Meanwhile, American filmmaker Amanda Salisbury creates films about Spain for international markets. While editing her footage of a local festival, she discovers that she filmed Juliet’s kidnapping. She takes the video to the police station, where she meets Leon and Phillip, who’d come there to report Juliet missing. They join forces and end up targeting a local sex-trafficking ring. Bradley’s masterful narrative slowly builds momentum, gaining speed as it heads toward a harrowing climax. The British author has lived in and traveled throughout Spain for the last quarter-century, and in his hands, Costa del Sol becomes a character all its own: “A few fluffy white clouds speckled an azure sky, contrasting against the deeper bluey turquoise of the calm Mediterranean.” Bradley’s knowledge of the region’s people and events gives the novel a firm sense of authenticity. Meanwhile, his trio of bruised characters determinedly work for the greater good, and readers will root for them and look forward to future installments.
A captivating, colorful mystery by an author well-versed in its setting.