Law of Returnby Rebecca Pawel
Spain, 1940: Lieutenant Carlos Tejada has been transferred to Salamanca, where he studied law before the Civil War. His new duties include monitoring parolees—former professors who were fired for protesting a Franco decree. Elena Fernandez, having lost her job because of her political leanings, has returned/b>
The second Carlos Tejada investigation
Spain, 1940: Lieutenant Carlos Tejada has been transferred to Salamanca, where he studied law before the Civil War. His new duties include monitoring parolees—former professors who were fired for protesting a Franco decree. Elena Fernandez, having lost her job because of her political leanings, has returned home to Salamanca from Madrid, where she and Tejada were first romantically involved. Her father, one of the parolees, was a distinguished professor of Classics. He has just received a letter from a Jewish friend, Professor Joseph Meyer, begging for help to cross into Spain from France before he is forcibly repatriated to Germany. Professor Fernandez cannot violate his parole by traveling to the border town of San Sebastian, so Elena goes in his stead. Tejada, tracing a missing parolee, also finds himself there, and their paths fatefully cross again.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
“There’s plenty to admire in this mystery . . . Satisfying.”
—Washington Post Book World
“Impressive levels of storytelling and fairness . . . Pawel resists easy solutions to historically difficult problems.”
“Strongly atmospheric . . . Fans of Spanish mystery master Arturo Pérez-Revate will enjoy this volume.”
—The Baltimore Sun
“A colorful, thrilling story about loyalty and love . . . Pawel weaves together her characters’ fate with a deft and cunning hand.”
—Detroit Free Press
Meet the Author
Rebecca Pawel lives in New York City and is pursuing a PhD in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Her widely praised first novel, Death of a Nationalist, won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel and was a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist, as well as a best book of the year in the Chicago Tribune, Publishers Weekly and Detroit Free Press.
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In 1940, Carlos Tejada looks forward to his promotion to lieutenant in the Guardia Civil and his assignment to the university town of Salamanca as he studied there before the Civil War exploded. He does not expect his job to tax his brain as he has to keep track of parolees consisting of former professors who became classified as convicts for defying a Franco decree. Also returning to the city is Carlos¿ college lover Elena Fernandez, who lost her job because she was politically incorrect. Carlos must report on her father as one of his parolees to his superiors. When a paroleegoes missing, Carlos investigates. He follows Elena to the border where she claims she meets her father to take him home. Actually, Elena is helping a family friend, German Jewish Professor Joseph Meyer, flee France before the French return him to Germany for ethnic cleansing. Will Carlos do his duty to Spain and turn in a woman he still desires and might be a killer or will he help sneak the twosome into Salamanca while also trying to solve the murder of his missing parolee? Though Carlos is part of the law and involved in a murder mystery, LAW OF RETURN is more an entertaining historical thriller that spotlights the beginning of Franco¿s long rule in Spain. Of interest is that though Spain is Fascist like Germany and Italy, the Jewish Meyers feels that this is a safer spot for him than Vichy France and obviously Germany. Readers who take pleasure in a deep historical tale will find Rebecca Pawel¿s story providing plenty of pleasure. Harriet Klausner