In A Small Death in Lisbon, the narrative switches back and forth between 1941 and 1999, and Wilson's wide knowledge of history and keen sense of place make the eras equally vibrant. In 1941 Germany, Klaus Felsen, an industrialist, is approached by the SS high command in a none-too-friendly manner and is "persuaded" to go to Lisbon and oversee the sale--or smuggling--of wolfram (also known as tungsten, used in the manufacture of tanks and airplanes). World War II Portugal is neutral where business is concerned, and too much of the precious metal is being sold to Britain when Germany needs it to insure that Hitler's blitzkrieg is successful.
Cut to 1999 Lisbon, where the daughter of a prominent lawyer has been found dead on a beach. Ze Coehlo, a liberal police inspector who is a widower with a daughter of his own, must sift through the life of Catarina Oliviera and discover why she was so brutally murdered. Her father is enigmatic, her mother suicidal; her friends were rock musicians and drug addicts.
Both a WWII novel and a modern mystery, Portugese setting is interesting. Great plot.
A very good novel.You will still be guessing to the last page.
Don't read this book if you are sleepy...you will miss too much. You have to pay attention but, it is well worth it. Knowing a few words in Portugese is helpful but, not required. A good book.
This book was absolutely epic. It is a riveting mystery/ thriller. It starts off with a murder in Lisbon, Portugal. Then it goes back to WWII and it is fascinating to see these two story lines come together. Wilson puts all the pieces together perfectly. This is a brutally violent, darkly sexual, intense novel. The present day Lisbon detective is a great character. If you like international thrillers a la The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, try this one.
Interesting mystery set in present Lisbon - with roots back to WWII
This is a winner of the Gold Dagger award for Best Crime Novel. It's an action-packed international thriller that spans centuries.
Gold Dagger Award winner - 1st in series set in Lisbon
This book tells two stories simultaneously - one from the 1930-40s and the other in the 1990s - in the end they tie (sorta) together. I found this book very difficult to stay the course, I was having to force myself to keep reading. It frequently switches back and forth from the 90s to 40s at whim and a lot of it doesn't have anything to do with the crime at hand of a murder of young teen girl found on the beach. Also there is a tremendous amount of sexual violence that didn't seem to be needed in telling the story, we got it they are bad guys! But the author repeatedly and I do mean repeatedly treated the females in his story as morons, idiots, less than, willing, silly fools whose whole existence is at the mercy of men and that they hold no control over their environment or destiny or how they respond to their victimization.
The book starts with a young teen girls murder and sex assault. The reader is introduced to a Portuguese Murder Detective and his family/friends as he and his new partner investigate the crime. It switches to a German man who is forced (somewhat)to join the Nazis and find resources of wolfram using stolen gold. (wolfram is used to make train hitches and weapons) The author spends ALOT of time with the German portion of the story but very little of it actually has to do with the 90s murder. The author makes a lot of links and ties - very 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon or butterfly wings lead to hurricanes. It frankly got ridiculous. Don't expect the guilty to see their due as most suffered much less then their victims.
I wanted to love this book but in the end I would barely recommend this book. You have to really be bored and in dire need of a mystery to read.