Friday, April 8, 2011

Pascual Rose: In Love and on the Run

This is another thought-provoking book from Dominic Martell that grabs you by the throat and won't let go, even after you've finished reading it. Pascual Rose was once involved with a number of groups who committed terrorist acts across Europe. But then he abandoned these radical causes and ratted out all of his former associates, save one--his lover, the beautiful Katixa, to the C.I.A. in return for a new identity and a safe "retirement."

Six years later, Pascual is scratching out a meager existence in the slums of Barcelona, drinking too much, occasionally bedding an overripe widow, and trying to keep his head down so as to avoid being found by his old associates who would very much like to extract revenge for his defection. Then, from out of nowhere, Katixa bursts back into his life, on the run with five million francs that she has stolen. Katixa proposes that she and Pascual find a way to sneak out of Spain with the loot so that they can finally live happily ever after.

Pascual has never lost the passion and the love he felt for Katixa, and he is totally intoxicated by the idea of being reunited with her. His efforts to make this plan work and to realize his dream open the door to a complicated tale of intrigue and double-crosses, punctuated by a considerable amount of violence.

As is often the case in novels like this, it's ultimately hard to determine who the good guys are or if, indeed, there even are any good guys at all. But you instinctively root for Pascual. For all the terrible things he might have done in his earlier life, you want things to work out well for him in the end and once you've started the book, it's almost impossible to put it down until you know if they will or not. One thing you will know for sure, though, once you've finished the book, is that Dominic Martell is an author who deserves a much wider audience.

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