WINNER OF THE CRIME WRITERS’ ASSOCIATION’S INTERNATIONAL DAGGER For fans of Alan Furst and Carlos Ruiz Zafón comes a haunting and layered thriller filled with history, adventure, suspense, and an unforgettable love story—by the internationally bestselling author Arturo Pérez-Reverte. Cádiz, 1811: The Spanish port city has been surrounded by Napoleon’s army for a year. Their backs to the sea, its residents endure routine bombardments and live in constant fear of a French invasion. And now the bodies of random women have begun to turn up throughout the city—victims of a shadowy killer.
Police Comisario Rogelio Tizón has been assigned the case. Known for his razor-sharp investigation skills—as well as his brutal interrogation methods—Tizón has seen everything. Or so he thought. His inquiry into the murders reveals a surprising pattern: Each victim has been found where a French bomb exploded. Logic tells him to pass it off as coincidence; his instinct tells him otherwise, and he begins to view Cádiz as a living chessboard, with himself and the killer the main players.
In a city pushed to the brink, violence and desperation weave together the lives of a group of unlikely people: the Spanish taxidermist who doubles as a French spy; the young woman who uses her father’s mercantile business to run the enemy blockade; the rough-edged corsair who tries to resist her charms; and the brilliant academic furiously trying to perfect the French army’s artillery and bring Cádiz to its knees once and for all. And as Napoleon presses closer, Tizón must make his next move on the bomb-scarred chessboard before the killer claims another pawn.
Combining fast-paced narrative with scrupulous historical accuracy, this smart, suspenseful tale of human resilience is Arturo Pérez-Reverte at the height of his talents.
Praise for The Siege “A genre-bending literary thriller . . . Pirates; serial killings; steamy, unrequited love: Pérez-Reverte imbues the sensational with significance. . . . His descriptions of the town and people of Cádiz capture colors, smells and personalities, making the page come to life, and he balances these sensory passages with dense observations about history, metaphysics, science, and human nature.”—Kirkus Reviews “Bold . . . [Pérez-Reverte’s] best yet . . . an ambitious intellectual thriller peopled with colorful rogues and antiheroes, meticulous in its historical detail, with a plot that rattles along to its unexpected finale. It’s hard to think of a contemporary author who so effortlessly marries popular and literary fiction as enjoyably as this.”—The Observer “Pérez-Reverte has long been Spain’s most popular, inventive writer of historical fiction. . . . This is a big and bold novel, rich in character and incident.”—The Sunday Times Acclaim for Arturo Pérez-Reverte “John le Carré meets Gabriel García Márquez . . . Pérez-Reverte has a huge following . . . and it’s spreading.”—The Wall Street Journal
“The Da Vinci Code and The Rule of Four . . . pale in comparison with Pérez-Reverte’s novels.”—Time Out New York “It’s a rare novelist...