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The Hidden Assassins

The Hidden Assassins

4.4 5
by Robert Wilson

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As Inspector Jefe Javier Falcón investigates a faceless, mutilated corpse, the beautiful city of Seville is rocked by a massive explosion. The discovery of a mosque in the basement of a devastated apartment building confirms everybody’s terrorist fears. Panic sweeps the city and the region goes on red alert. As more bodies are dragged from the rubble, the


As Inspector Jefe Javier Falcón investigates a faceless, mutilated corpse, the beautiful city of Seville is rocked by a massive explosion. The discovery of a mosque in the basement of a devastated apartment building confirms everybody’s terrorist fears. Panic sweeps the city and the region goes on red alert. As more bodies are dragged from the rubble, the media interest and political pressure inten­sify and Falcón suspects that all is not what it appears to be. Just as he comes close to cracking the conspiracy, he makes the most terrifying discovery of all and the race is on to prevent a catastrophe far beyond Spain’s borders.  A masterful thriller, The Hidden Assassins is fiction of the highest order.

Editorial Reviews

Sarah Weinman
Modern terrorism is uppermost in the minds of those who populate Robert Wilson's new novel, but the engines driving The Hidden Assassins through to its satisfying, nuanced finish are old human emotions: greed, obsession, love … the novel forges a link between personal calamity and greater terror concerns.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
At the start of Wilson's strong third mystery set in Seville featuring police Insp. Jefe Javier Falc n (after The Vanished Hands and The Blind Man of Seville), the mutilated body of a nude male turns up in a municipal dump. Before Falcon has time to investigate, a huge bomb explodes in a mosque and flattens an apartment complex and a day-care center. Was it an Islamic bomb-making operation gone awry? A specific attack against Muslims? Or the work of separatists fighting to return Andalusia to Muslim rule? Falc n has a dark and tangled personal history that provides several side plots, some of which are incorporated into the terror investigation and some of which are left to be taken up in further installments. Falc n 's investigation is as detailed and meticulous as the writing, which makes for a dense tale that demands close attention, but will reward careful readers with a story that has not only plenty of plot but also in-depth character intrigue. Author tour. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
On June 6, 2006, a powerful explosion levels an apartment block in a nondescript area of Seville, Spain. Inspector Jefe Javier Falc n (introduced in The Blind Man of Seville) is assigned the case, which grows more complex once he learns there was a mosque in the apartment's basement. The presiding investigative judge is philanderer Esteban Calder n, whose marriage to In s, Falc n's ex-wife, has gone bad. Falc n himself is in turmoil over his one-time lover Consuelo, who is now battling her own demons. Amid this psychological angst, the question becomes: Who was responsible for the bombing? Did the terrorists accidentally detonate the military-grade explosive, or was this an anti-Muslim attack? Although the psychological distress of some minor characters occasionally distracts, British writer Wilson does an excellent job of laying out the elaborate investigative procedures to be followed after a major terrorist attack. And, as in his earlier works (e.g., The Vanished Hand), his characters lead dramatically disturbing inner lives. For popular fiction collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 7/06.] Ron Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Inspector Jefe Javier Falc-n (The Vanished Hands, 2005, etc.) takes on "the largest criminal investigation in Seville's history" in his hunt for the terrorists who blew up an apartment building. There's no obvious sign of how the corpse in the Dumpster came to die, but since his hands and face have been painstakingly removed, it's clear that whoever killed him didn't want him quickly identified, and soon enough it's clear why: because he had some connection to the blast that leveled a block of low-income flats notable only for its basement mosque. Ever since the train bombs that pulled Spain out of the Iraq war, the nation has been suspicious of Muslims, and it isn't long before the hydra-headed investigation focuses on the community that worshiped every day in the devastated mosque. Falc-n's police work, working from one slender lead to the next, is a model of procedural logic, patience and clarity. What really makes his third case outstanding, however, is Wilson's mastery of an intricate web of subplots ranging far afield. As investigators interrogate witnesses, analyze coded messages and recruit acquaintances as spies, other citizens start psychotherapy, confront mistresses, find with amazement that their bereavement gives them a rare moral authority and seek personal revenge for their losses. The ambitious subject suits Wilson's formidable gifts perfectly, and the Spanish setting should make it easier for American readers to focus on the issues without getting distracted by references too close to home.

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Javier Falcon Series , #3
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
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File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

ROBERT WILSON is the author of numerous novels, including The Company of Strangers and A Small Death in Lisbon, which won the Gold Dagger Award as Best Crime Novel of the Year from Britain’s Crime Writers’ Association. A graduate of Oxford University, he has worked in shipping, advertising, and trading in Africa, and has lived in Greece, Portugal, and West Africa.

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The Hidden Assassins 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
RSRS More than 1 year ago
I read most of this on the plane, on the way from Seattle to Spain, so had a lot of interruptions and lost track from time to time. Normally I like to read books about a place I'm visiting, but I didn't think this book contributed much to my understanding of and appreciation for Seville. But it certainly had a lot to say about the current complexities involving terrorism, religion, and human foibles. Well worth the read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The trail of death leads from a faceless body in the garbage dump to an explosion in a suburb of Seville in an apartment building that housed a mosque in the basement. Inspector Falcon and other investigators are trying to figure out what is going on. Why would somebody destroy an entire wing of a building, killing children in a day care center as well? What madness is causing this indiscriminate killing? You'll find yourself wondering what the personal life of Judge Calderon has to do with the killings also. What links do his mistress and mistreated wife play? There are many other threads woven into this tale that will keep you guessing. Talented author Robert Wilson gives mystery or thriller fans a tale that could be taken from current events involving religious fanaticism and the mounting tensions between the many groups involved. Mysterious men working for a mysterious communications company might be involved in the bombing. Is there an American link? Do politics play a role in the chaotic aftermath to the bombing? Will Falcon find out who is responsible? Surprises await the reader of this fun tale as it unwinds. You'll find there are unexpected links between Calderon and Falcon, unexpected twists in the story that guarantee reading satisfaction. Enjoy.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Seville, Inspector Jefe Javier Falcon investigates the brutal murder of a naked male, whose mutilated corpse was uncovered at the city¿s dump. The victim¿s face was removed by acid and his wrists surgically carved off. Falcon in spite of his mantra to stay distant struggles with the images. However, this makes him realize his not exclusive relationship with Laura must end because he wants restaurateur Consuelo Jiminez back in his life. --- At the same time the cop deals poorly with the homicide and his personal life, an explosion rocks the city. An apartment building and an adjacent kindergarten lay in ruins. Many die as first responders try to rescue those they can. The residents of Seville are in a state of panic when it is learned that in the basement of the rubble is a mosque. While the local and national law enforcement and media assume Islamic terrorism, Falcon begins to see a different venue that connects the bombing with the defaced corpse. Though alone, he soon begins peeling one layer at a time a monstrous conspiracy that if executed could devastate the west leaving many dead, but the clock is running out on him. --- In his third appearance (see THE SILENT AND THE DAMNED and THE BLIND MAN OF SEVILLE), Falcon is at his best as he struggles with the gruesome murder, the explosion, and has no time to repair his personal life. The investigation is top rate as the Inspector begins to slowly connect the dots that soon make him doubt the prevalent theory on the bombing and leads him towards a more horrific conclusion that something bigger is coming. Readers will appreciate his efforts to prevent a monstrous disaster in this tense conspiratorial thriller. --- Harriet Klausner
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago