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The Silent and the Damned (2004)

por Robert Wilson

Outros autores: Ver a secção outros autores.

Séries: Javier Falcon (2)

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359753,995 (3.78)22
A new psychological thriller featuring Javier Falcon, the tortured detective from 'The Blind Man of Seville'.
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This is the second book in Robert Wilson's Javier Falcon series. To his credit, Wilson changes the tone of The Vanished Hands from the markedly dark, somber and depressing The Blind Man of Seville; the second book is more up-beat, with some pleasant dashes of humor. Common to both volumes is Wilson's excellent prose, and his attention to his characters. You do not get one- or two- dimensional characters in Wilson's books - you get all three dimensions.

In this volume, Inspector Jefe Javier Falcon is investigating the apparent murder-suicide of businessman Rafael Vega and his wife. Things don't seem right to Falcon and his assistant, Jose Luis Ramirez; some evidence leaves the two wondering if Vega had been murdered. As Falcon looks closer into Vega and his neighbors, he begins to find troubling clues leading to the Russian mafia, illegal immigrants and a pedophile ring.

Wilson creates interesting characters, and he devotes a great deal of time to fleshing out their psyches: Pablo Ortega, erstwhile actor whose son, Sebastian, is in prison for child molestation, and whose brother, Ignacio, provided air-conditioning services to Vega; Marty Krugman, American architect who worked for Vega and whose Wife Maddy is apparently the object of desire for any man who sees her.

At the same time, Wilson brings in several characters from the first book - and a good thing, too; he spends so much effort in developing these characters it would be a waste to limit them to one book. Among the recurring characters are the aforementioned Ramirez; Esteban Calderon, a Juez de Instruccione who often oversees Falcon's investigations, and who is planning to marry - Ines Falcon, Javier's ex-wife; Consuelo Jiminez, whose husband Raul was a murder victim in the first book.

It is very considerate of Wilson and the publisher to put a list of characters at the end of the book - you may find it helpful as you read. For sure, Wilson weaves a complex story. In general, his books are so rich in detail and character development that you feel a sense of satisfaction from reading these stories. They are engaging.

I strongly recommend that one read The Blind Man of Seville before reading The Vanished Hand - there is a lot of carry-over, some of which is relevant to the story line developed in this volume. And there's two more books in the series! I can't wait. ( )
  jpporter | Jun 4, 2016 |
Second in the Javier Falcón series set in Seville. Santa Clara is a wealthy neighbourhood where people stay inside their elegant air-conditioned homes and don’t mix much with their neighbours. Very un-Spanish. And then people start dying.
First, a husband and wife. Was it one murder and a suicide, or a double-murder? Falcón investigates only to find, living opposite the murdered couple, the wife of his last murder victim [in ‘The Blind Man of Seville’]. And this is how Robert Wilson neatly intertwines the back story from the first novel, bringing forward the things a new reader needs to know. Falcón has moved on since then, gone are the formal suits, now he wears a shirt and chinos and seems more relaxed, more at peace with himself. But this is a detective novel, and detectives are traditionally troubled souls so it is not long before the cracks appear.
The deaths keeping coming in the 40° heat, Falcón must deal with the impending marriage of his ex-wife plus the growing suspicion that all is not well at police headquarters. There are links to characters in the first book, dodgy characters, further crimes are hinted at. Will he be allowed to continue his investigation, or will higher powers decree his case unviable? And does Javier Falcón have the mental energy left to care?
An excellent follow-up to ‘The Blind Man of Seville’. I read this quicker than the first, I think because of the familiarity of the character. I understand now why the books were serialised on Sky Atlantic.
Read more of my book reviews at http://www.sandradanby.com/book-reviews-a-z/ ( )
  Sandradan1 | Oct 22, 2015 |
Vervolg op 'De blinde man van Sevilla', wat soms wat vervelend is als je dat eerste boek lang, lang geleden gelezen hebt. De gedachte dat vervolgverhalen verboden zouden moeten worden, speelde wel eens door mijn hoofd. Maar 'De Blinde man' staat in mijn geheugen gegrift als een van de beste thrillers die ik ooit las. Laat 'Tot zwijgen gedoemd' dus op zijn minst de gelegenheid zijn om dat eerste boek (opnieuw) vast te pakken.

'Tot zwijgen gedoemd' bevat gelijkaardige elementen, waaronder de inspecteur en een duister (politiek) verleden. Een beerput speelt een prominente rol - in meer dan één opzicht. Wilson vermijdt handig alle clichés van het genre, waaronder dat van een thriller-als-een-toeristische-gids-voor-een-exotische-stad.Uitstekend werk, maar niet met de existentiële dimensie van 'De bllnde man'. ( )
  brver | Oct 18, 2014 |
I picked up "The Vanished Hands" because I had loved "The Company of Strangers" and "A Small Death in Lisbon." At first I didn't enjoy "The Vanished Hands" as much. I hadn't read "The Blind Man of Seville" and I found the references to it distracting. Also, I prefer historical settings for thrillers and this one is set in July 2002. I couldn't even get much of a feel for Seville. Of course, the barrio where the book is set is described as more like California than Spain, so maybe that was the problem. However, I soon found myself unable to put the book down. Javier Falcon is fascinating, flawed and following his intuition about coincidences and contradictions -- correctly, as it turn out.

Other reviewers have commented on Wilson's character development and I agree that is one of his strengths. The murder victim Rafael Vega is dead when the book opens but he becomes one of the most intriguing characters in the book. Falcon's therapist is a blind woman. I loved how she held his wrist during their sessions so she could feel his pulse. But the most riveting character is Falcon himself. He's so thoughtful and subtle. I plan to go back and read "The Blind Man of Seville," even though I pretty much know what happens from having read "The Vanished Hands." I want to know more about Falcon. "A Small Death in Lisbon" is still my favorite, but "The Vanished Hands" is an excellent book. ( )
  krbrancolini | Mar 24, 2011 |
Mario Vega tiene siete años y su vida está a punto de cambiar para siempre. En la casa que hay al otro lado de la calle, en un barrio exclusivo de Sevilla, su padre yace cadáver en el suelo de la cocina, y su madre ha sido asfixiada con su almohadón. Parece ser un pacto de suicidio, pero el inspector jefe Javier Falcón tiene sus dudas cuando encuentra una enigmática nota arrugada en la mano del muerto. A los pocos días hay dos suicidios más y un incendio forestal asola las colinas que rodean Sevilla arrasándolo todo a su paso. Falcón sudará para descubrir la verdad, que revelará que todo está relacionado y que existe un secreto más en el negro corazón de la vida de Vega.
  kika66 | Jan 23, 2011 |
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Robert Wilsonautor principaltodas as ediçõescalculated
Gudmundsen, Per KristianTradutorautor secundárioalgumas ediçõesconfirmado

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The Silent and the Damned (2004) was republished as The Vanished Hands (2005) - is that the US title?
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A new psychological thriller featuring Javier Falcon, the tortured detective from 'The Blind Man of Seville'.

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