Winter In Madrid

C.J. Sansom

Penguin - Viking,  January 2009

In September 1940, the Spanish Civil War is over and Madrid lies in ruins . . .

Into this uncertain world comes Harry Brett, a reluctant spy for the British Secret Service who was traumatized by his recent experience at Dunkirk. Sent to Spain to gain the confidence of Sandy Forsyth, an old school friend turned shady Madrid businessman, Brett finds himself involved in a dangerous game and surrounded by memories. Meanwhile, Sandy's girlfriend, ex-Red Cross nurse Barbara Clare, is engaged in a secret mission of her own -- to find her former lover who has vanished on the bloody battlefields of the Jarama.

Winter in Madrid is a riveting tale that offers a remarkable sense of history unfolding and the profound impact of impossible choices.

paperback | ISBN: 9780143115137 | Publication Date: January 2009

"Sansom deftly plots his politically charged tale for maximal suspense, all the way up to its stunning conclusion."
--Publishers Weekly

"There are touches of Graham Greene. . . . Hemingway's here too. . . . But Sansom transfigures his sources into a moral universe very much his own."
--The Independent

"Sansom can lay claim to a place among the most distinguished of modern historical novelists."
--P.D. James

"As always, former lawyer Sansom (Dark Fire, etc.) fleshes out the detection with rich historic details presented at a stately pace."
--Kirkus Reviews

"Atmosphere abounds in this marvelously drawn novel, which essentially is all about conspiracies to unseat King Henry, centered on resistance to his dynasty and his Protestantism, which were both unpopular in the North."
--Booklist (starred review)

"The reality of Madrid in 1940 is recreated in authentic and believable detail. Sansom evokes the sights and sounds of a city [where] fear, hatred and desolation are palpable. There are some powerful set pieces in the novel. . . . As a portrait of a traumatized city, wrapped in silence because speech was dangerous, Winter in Madrid is a remarkable achievement."
--Times Literary Supplement (London)

"Sansom seems to have been born with, or instinctively acquired, that precious balance of creativity and research that lets a mystery set in another time walk a delicate line between history and humanity."
--Chicago Tribune

"It is a bold author who, having found acclaim with [three] historical novels firmly grounded in a particular period, sets [this] novel in an entirely different place some five hundred years later -- but that is what C. J. Sansom has done, and he has pulled it off magnificently. . . . Winter in Madrid shares with [his previous 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 five hundred-plus pages . . . weaving together hard facts with romantic fiction -- his bleak winter thriller chills to the bone."
--Literary Review (London)

"Sansom cannot be easily be pigeonholed. [Winter in Madrid] subtly mixes elements of different genres: part thriller, part romance, and part historical drama. . . . Post-Civil war Madrid is finely and minutely observed, giving the entire novel a remarkable sense of place. . . . Together with the book's intricate and tightly structured plotting, Sansom spins the reader through to its bloody conclusion. . . . Compelling and well-written, [this is] a well-crafted and entertaining piece of fiction."
--Sunday Express (London)

"Sansom's splendid novel is not only similar in backdrop to For Whom the Bell Tolls; it is also written in much the same plain and direct style (though Sansom's descriptive powers . . . are quite remarkable). . . . It comes as no surprise to learn that Sansom's novel spent month after month on London's bestseller lists."
--The Philadelphia Inquirer

"A compelling tale of game-playing, memories, and the impact of impossible lices. If you like Sebastian Faulks and Carlos Ruiz Zafón, you'll love this."
--Daily Express (London)