Death never takes a holiday for DCI Charlie Woodend, whose vacation is hijacked by murder.
Woodend (The Witch Maker, p. 426) intends their trip to the sunny coast of Spain to provide a rest for his wife Joan, who’s been unusually tired of late. On their first night in Benicelda, however, Charlie sees a man flung from the balcony of the hotel room next door. Rushing down to help, he’s apprehended by a member of the Guardia Civil—Franco’s iron-fisted police force. An appeal to Ralph Featherington Gore, the British Honorary Consul, springs Charlie, but the discovery that the dead man, traveling under the name Holloway, was actually Peter Medwin, Northern Region Manager of the National Coal Board, forces him to shoulder the investigation along with Captain Lopez, a Franco flunky with his own reasons to sabotage Woodend’s inquiry. He gets overseas help from Monika Panikowski and Bob Rutter, who sort through Medwin’s associates back in Lancashire in hope of a lead, and from ex-cop Paco Ruiz, a local ally who lost his job but not his vocation fighting for the Loyalists. But Woodend soon suspects that the roots of the murder are global, as he discovers Mitchell, Roberts, Schneider, Dupont and Sutcliffe—companions whose ties to Medwin date back to the Spanish Civil War.
Whether he’s sipping una cerveza or downing a pint of best bitter, dogged Woodend’s a treat for fans of truth-and-justice detection.