Arturo Pérez-Reverte, Falcó, 2016, 296 p.
publisher’s advance promotion:
Arturo Pérez-Reverte returns this fall with a book protagonized by his most fascinating character since Captain Alatriste: Lorenzo Falcó, a spy without scruples, former arms smuggler and secret service agent who moves with extreme skill in the turbulent Europe of the 1930s and 40s. … A story of violence, power plots and suspense, in which reality and fiction are intertwined in brilliant fashion to shape an extraordinary spy novel.
“Falco’s world was a different one, and there the sides were perfectly defined: on one side he, and on the other side everybody else.”
In the fall of 1936, while the frontier between friends and foes is reduced to an imprecise and dangerous line, Falcó receives the order to infiltrate himself in a difficult mission that could change the course of the history of Spain. A man and two women, the Montero siblings and Eva Rengel, will be his companions and maybe his victims, in a time in which life is written to the beat of betrayals and nothing is what it seems to be.
Falcó is a thrilling novel, addictive reading, with which Arturo Pérez-Reverte creates again a great character, comparable to the most outstanding spies and adventurers of literature.
The work will be published simultaneously in Spain, Latin America, and the US on Oct. 19.
This blogger will wait for the professional (if there are any) and reader reviews before considering to read this novel. Some of Pérez-Reverte’s books have fascinating plots and disappointing endings. The length of this book is exactly the size of your average novel, as if written according to preestablished marketing requirements. If he goes on publishing several books a year, Pérez-Reverte could be characterized as Spain’s (and Latin America’s) Ken Follett very soon.
From Carles Barba’s review:
In interviews Pérez-Reverte has insisted in assuring that Falcó should not be considered a novel about the [Spanish] Civil War. For us it is one indeed, and worthy to be named among the best that have been written on the subject in recent years (next to Veinte años y un día [20 years and one day] by [Jorge] Semprún, Ayer no más [Yesterday no more] by [Andrés] Trapiello, or Riña de gatos [Cat fight] by [Eduardo] Mendoza). Our author has achieved to explain a true rescue attempt of the fall of 1936 with the lights, the tension and the dryness of classic gangster movies and novels. And by situating a good part of the action in the republican Levante (and in his native sunny Cartagena that he knows in detail) he has explored in a rare fashion the darkness of the human condition and the lowness to which fratricidal hate can lead. And Falco’s final assault, as if he was a wolf, at a murky torture house, is a round closing, the restorative catharsis, and a journey directly into the heart of the shadows.
SOURCE: Alfaguara (PRH, publisher); review by Carles Barba in “Cultura/s”, La Vanguardia, October 22, 2016, p. 4-5 [printed edition]