Winter in Madrid

  • by C. J. Sansom
  • Narrated by Gordon Gordon
  • 21 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Winter in Madrid is set just after the bloody Spanish Civil War, with World War II looming over Europe. Reluctantly, Harry Brett looks for an old schoolmate who's become a person of interest for British intelligence.

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What the Critics Say

"The playing fields of Rookwood did little to prepare reluctant spy Harry Brett for the moral no man's land of post-Civil War Spain that awaits him in this cinematic historical thriller from British author Sansom....But those halcyon days have made him one of the few people likely to win the confidence of fellow old boy Sandy Forsyth, now a shady Madrid businessman, Franco associate and object of intense curiosity to British intelligence. Despite his reservations, Brett - whose best friend from Rookwood, Bernie Piper, disappeared in Spain a few years earlier while battling Franco with the International Brigade - accepts the assignment as his duty, and almost as swiftly regrets it. For the Madrid he finds has become a mockery of the vibrant, hopeful place he and Bernie visited during the dawn of the Republic. As in his Matthew Shardlake mystery series set in Tudor London, Sansom deftly plots his politically charged tale for maximal suspense, all the way up to its stunning conclusion. A bestseller in the U.K., this moving opus leaves the reader mourning for the Spain that might have been - and the England that maybe never was. (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

realistic characters in historical context

I have read all of CJ Sansom's mysteries set in/around the reign of Henry VIII and the establishment of the Church of England. i enjoyed the historical context and mystery plot. I was a bit hesitant to purchase Winter in Madrid as I did not know what to expect in terms of treatment of the very diverse and violent political movements of the time. I found the book to be quite enjoyable because of Sansom's creation of characters who are not perfect, but are wrestling either with post-war apathy or their pre-conceived notions of the "right" political stance. the story does not have a nice, "happy ever after ending", but this too is in keeping with the times. I enjoyed learning more about Spain's history both pre and post WWII as part of the plot development, and it has prompted me to take on some non-fiction reading of Franco and England's and France's role in keeping an authoritarian, rightist regime in power at the expense of the less wealthy/connected members of the society. Morally questionable?, that's for each person to decide, but pragmatically - it almost always comes back to kick you in the teeth (Shah- Iran; Allende-Chile...the list goes on). an enjoyable, and thoughtful read.
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- Annie

Needed to erase from my memory.

As a fan of CJ Sansom and historical novels, I purchaed the not-yet-reviewed, "Winter in Madrid." I haven't read very many books about the Spainish Civil War and looked forward to an interesting and complex story. Historically accuate or not, the novel is filled with wholly unlikeable and pathetic characters. By the end, unscrupulous Sandy was the only sympathetic character. I forced myself to finish this long, dismal novel. I was left with such a "bad taste in my mouth" I immediately started, "Inherent Vice," by Thomas Pynchon to erase, "Winter in Madrid," from my memory.
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- I love audiobooks "Legalu"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-24-2009
  • Publisher: Recorded Books