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A Darker Night

A Max Romero Mystery by P. J. Brooke

A Darker Night by P. J. Brooke

Review: Spanish National Police Sub-Inspector Max Romero works with his departmental adversary to solve the mystery of the death of a gypsy in A Darker Night, the second mystery in this series by P. J. Brooke.

Francisco Javier Maya Fuentes, known as Paco Maya the gypsy, has recently been released from prison, where he had served time for the murder of his wife. He returns to his home, which consists of a cave and some property he owns in rural Sacromonte Valley, high in the Alhambra hills just outside of Granada. Although it is just a cave, it is his home: his special bit of paradise. He is now free to sit on his chair, play his guitar and love his dog. But the next day while Max Romero is out for a walk with a group of friends, he is was stopped by a stranger telling him that he thinks there is a dead man up in a cave on the hill. The man had heard a dog wailing like it was in pain so he went up to see if he could help. Romero follows the man to the cave where he finds the injured dog, an overturned chair, a guitar lying face down and a dead man lying on the floor Paco. Romero calls the station for help, with Inspector Navarro responding. Romero tells Navarro that he thinks the man had been murdered. Navarro decides otherwise, that it looks like just another gypsy who died, probably of an overdose. Case solved. However, forensics and the deputy judge of investigations agree with Romero, that there is something amiss. Romero and Navarro would have to work together to solve the gypsy's murder.

The most likely people who might want to harm Paco are his former brothers-in-law, who still hold him responsible for their sister's, his former wife's, death. But money is always a motive for murder, and though Paco lived in a cave, he owned the land around it land that property developers would give dearly to own. With little evidence to go on, Romero and Navarro must set aside their differences if they're going to catch a killer.

A Darker Night is a well-plotted mystery, with multiple intersecting storylines, and twists and turns in just about every chapter that keep the reader engaged. There's a paradoxical appeal to the contrast drawn between the noirish narrative involving Romero's investigation and the vibrant, colorful setting for the book, the city and environs of Granada, Spain. This solid and deserving sequel to the first book in the series, Blood Wedding, featuring a man who will stop at nothing to bring justice to the deserving is recommended.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of A Darker Night.

Acknowledgment: Soho Press provided a copy of A Darker Night for this review.

Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved

Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author

Mystery Book Review: Blood Wedding by P. J. BrookeBlood Wedding
Soho Constable (Hardcover), December 2008
ISBN-13: 9781569475294; ISBN-10: 1569475296

Location(s) referenced in A Darker Night: Granada, Spain

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A Darker Night by P. J. Brooke

A Darker Night by A Max Romero Mystery

Publisher: Soho Constable
Format: Hardcover
ISBN-13: 978-1-56947-624-6
Publication Date:
List Price: $25.00

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