THE MARKS OF CAIN
Harper £6.99 pbk
Released: 15th April 2010
Reviewer: Adrian Magson
Adrian Magson is the author of the Riley Gavin/Frank Palmer series published by Crème de la Crime. Visit http://www.adrianmagson.com for more information.
Twisting together a
whole chain of events, including a surprise inheritance, a Biblical
curse and the revelations of some astonishing truths about medieval
history and a little-known tribe of people called the Cagots, this book
has something for lovers of religious or quasi-religious mysteries and
the uncovering of previously blurred historical facts down the ages.
David Martinez is a media lawyer, with little knowledge or interest in his ancestry. His Grandfather is Spanish, his mother from England, and his father a US Air Force officer. Any feelings of self have been confused by living all over the world, until he feels neither American nor British nor Spanish.
On learning that his grandfather is dying, he goes to see him, and is given a map and told to go to Bilbao. That is all he knows… that and the surprising fact that his grandfather, whom he’d always believed was poor, has left him a million dollars.
Stirred into a sense of adventure which will at least take him away from his boring legal job, he sets off to find a man his grandfather told him to go and seek out. Apart from the name of a village and an old map, he has little to go on.
Elsewhere, deaths are occurring, and in the most puzzling and gruesome manner. Men and women are being murdered, and in each case are found to have unusual bodily characteristics which mark them out from the norm. They are eventually revealed to be characteristics of those belonging to a little-known people known as Cagots, reviled and hated for centuries and confined to the darkest corners they can inhabit – in this case, in the Basque region. Chancing on the killings via a friendly police contact, reporter Simon Quinn follows a trail of clues which will bring him into contact with David Martinez, who finds himself closely linked with the Cagots.
Both men will wish they had not bothered, as there are people who will kill on sight to prevent further revelations about the Cagots and whether there are any of the reviled tribe still left alive.
From America, the UK, the Pyrenees down to the deepest core of the Kalahari desert, their individual trails take both men on a journey of fear, death and appalling cruelty, and to discover truths about themselves as well as the benighted tribe of Cagots.
Fast-paced and full of drama as well as casting an intriguing light on a little-known corner of European history, this will be a must for lovers of the genre
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