Until the Curtain Falls
by David Ebsworth
And he’s killed somebody close to the Generalísimo’s heart.
Telford’s a hunted man, and hunted by three different and deadly enemies.
In a climactic chase from Madrid to the Republic’s last outpost, in Alicante, during the closing days of the Spanish Civil War, Jack will learn hard lessons about the conflict between morality and survival.
This was more than a story about the Spanish Civil War to me. Having lived in Alicante many years, this book delivered much more than an account of the Civil War. Seen through Jack Telford’s eyes, the events – often bloody, frequently horrific, and sadly too real – were brought to life as a result of familiar towns, sayings, and places that I now know so well.
Jack’s story is a turbulent one. Frequently falling down the proverbial rabbit hole, he is an unfortunate victim of circumstances, the first being when he learns of the true allegiances of a woman decorated by Franco, a woman who intends to frame him for a most treacherous act. Jack is forced to deal with her … and flee. He makes plans to head home to England but nothing is ever as simple as it seems. As a hunted man he seeks help from diplomats and priests alike, but not everyone is who they appear to be.
Capture, torture, imprisonment and many a dramatic chase across Spain follow. Jack’s journalistic prowess attracts the powerful from all sides of the battle. His freedom depends on who he helps, and whose secrets – if any – he is willing to expose.
The author combines the horrors of war with real relationships. We see suffering, corruption, an evil abuse of power, yet also good people, kindness, loyalty and a hint of romance.
The backdrop is delicious in its detail, both beautiful and gruesome. In a country divided by war, there is fury and resentment from some while others just seem to carry on in their own merry way. The contrast couldn’t be more glaring, yet this is fiction with a whole lot of factual evidence to support it.
I was enthralled, disturbed, amazed and saddened in equal measures. I will revisit the localities mentioned in this book with renewed interest and complete respect.
Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book, which I reviewed voluntarily.
Thank you for reading 🙂