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Book reviews - Saturday Of Glory

Saturday Of Glory

Author: David Serafin
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Almost a decade before Donna Leon and Michael Dibdin began to write crime novels set in Italy, and two decades before Robert Wilson created Spanish detective Javier Falcon, there was David Serafin and Superintendent Luis Bernal. During the period of Spanish history known as 'The Transition' following the death of General Franco, the return of the monarchy and the move to parliamentary democracy (1975-1982), Serafin's amiable and very human detective Luis Bernal has to accept that at the end of a dictatorship, all crimes are political. It was his skill in setting a convincing police procedural novel during this turbulent political and social upheaval, and spicing it with the colours and scents of Spanish life, that brought David Serafin (the pen-name of scholar and critic Professor Ian Michael) to the attention of the legendary Collins Crime Club. Saturday of Glory introduced the short, stout Superintendent Bernal and his team of detectives in a case a double murder which hides an outrageous plot to "resurrect" the dead dictator Franco - on Easter Sunday! -and overthrow Spain's fledgling democracy. The novel won the Crime Writers' Association's John Creasey Award for best first novel in 1979 and a leading American reviewer said: "Serafin's debut is strong on gritty police procedure and convincing Madrid atmosphere."

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