Reviews

‘The material and human reality of Madrid in 1940 is recreated in authentic and believable detail. There are some powerful set pieces . . . As a portrait of a traumatized city, wrapped in silence because speech was dangerous, Winter in Madrid is a remarkable achievement’
Times Literary Supplement

‘C. J. Sansom’s real strength lies in an almost uncanny ability to create a sense of time and place. This is an unsentimental and utterly fascinating portrait of Spain in 1940 . . . Sansom wears his research lightly and gets right under the skin of his characters. The result is a tense, literate page-turner, full of twists, authentic detail and real pathos, a superb achievement’
Laura Wilson, Guardian

‘Few authors have the ability, or capacity for research, which allows them to capture the mood and atmosphere of a period in history, so when one does, and does it as well as C. J. Sansom in Winter in Madrid, then they deserve not only praise but success . . . Not since Robert Harris . . . have I come across a writer who captures the mood of an era so succinctly and graphically. It’s as if Winter in Madrid were written in sepia . . . Highly recommended’
Evening Herald


 
 ‘Winter in Madrid may surprise fans of Sansom’s usual medieval crime novels. It finds him dispensing with his quill and fast-forwarding five centuries to 1940s Spain – a country ruined by war, poverty and civil divisions . . . the sorry state of the city is evoked in all its blood, dust and melancholy, while the story itself never becomes bogged down in polemic . . . The climax is tremendously exciting and skilfully played out, and the characters are so convincing that it’s tempting to cast the actors who will play them in the inevitable big-screen adaptation’
Time Out

‘It is a bold author who, having found acclaim with two historical novels firmly grounded in a particular period, sets his third novel in an entirely different place some 500 years later – but that is what C. J. Sansom has done, and he has pulled it off magnificently . . . Winter in Madrid shares with [Sansom’s first two novels] the author’s enviable ability to land his readers in an alien world, yet make them feel entirely at home . . . In Sansom’s capable hands, story, characters and that indefinable spirit of place meld and twist into a narrative that grips the reader throughout its 500-plus pages . . . weaving together hard facts with romantic fiction – his bleak winter thriller chills to the bone’
Literary Review

‘If you like Sebastian Faulks and Carlos Ruiz Zafón, you’ll love this’
Daily Express

‘Now here’s a wonderful curiosity: a convincing and moving historical novel, which is also an exciting thriller’
Sunday Times

‘Romance, history and ideological conflict are seamlessly married in this impressive period thriller’
Independent

‘Thoroughly researched, convincingly evocative and solidly entertaining’
Daily Telegraph

‘Sansom triumphs as he unravels the tissues of lies and deceptions . . . gripping’
Spectator

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Synopsis

1940: After the Spanish Civil War, Madrid lies ruined, its people starving, as Germany continues its relentless march through Europe. Britain now stands alone, while General Franco considers whether to abandon neutrality and enter the war.

Into this uncertain world comes Harry Brett: a traumatized veteran of Dunkirk turned reluctant spy for the British Secret Service. Sent to gain the confidence of old schoolfriend Sandy Forsyth, now a shady Madrid businessman, Harry finds himself involved in a dangerous game – and surrounded by memories.

Meanwhile Sandy’s girlfriend, ex-Red Cross nurse Barbara Clare, is engaged on her own secret mission – to find her former lover, Bernie Piper, a passionate Communist in the International Brigades who vanished on the bloody battlefields of the Jarama.

A vivid and haunting depiction of wartime Spain, Winter in Madrid is an intimate and compelling tale. An intensely moving love story, it also evokes a remarkable sense of history unfolding, and reveals the profound impact of impossible choices.

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