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He’s just beginning to get his bearings again when he’s handed a new assignment to investigate crimes involving foreigners in Malaga, Spain. Phillip Armitage is an expatriate British businessman who moved to the country to escape the painful memories of a failed marriage. His new problem is that he’s smitten by Juliet, a young waitress who reminds him of his unfaithful ex-spouse.
The orbits of Leon and Phillip intersect when Phillip’s Belgian friend Marcel Faucher is questioned regarding a murder and Leon needs an interpreter. Meanwhile, American filmmaker Amanda Salisbury creates films about Spain for international markets. While editing her footage of a local festival, she discovers that she filmed Juliet’s kidnapping. She takes the video to the police station, where she meets Leon and Phillip, who’d come there to report Juliet missing. They join forces and end up targeting a local sex-trafficking ring.
Taut, superbly executed and consistently engrossing Darkness In Malaga might be Paul S Bradley’s debut release but he has written it with the acerbic pen of a seasoned author and it makes for a genuine page-turner. Mystery and crime fiction remain ever popular but far too many offerings are marred by ensemble-proof protagonists and this is something Bradley has avoided whilst clever twists and a welcome streak of dry humour hold our attention throughout. Clearly, he has his sights set on a series and in ex Spanish Legionnaire turned detective Prado he has created a dapper and conflicted character who proves wholly intriguing. Ex-intelligence officer Philip Armitage is equally well crafted but what really sets Bradley's debut on a pedestal is his ability to capture the ambience of his chosen setting. From the minute to the bigger picture his enticing descriptions of Nerja and the surrounding locality bring the heat and drama of Spain's Costa del Sol to life. Sandy beaches, surrounding mountains and the continuing allure of the Mediterranean through which he weaves a hypnotic spell of mystery, suspense and pure escapism.
An exciting and talented new literary voice in an ever-popular genre, Darkness In Malaga proves a discerning read and is recommended without reservation.
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Paul S Bradley, originally from London, England, has lived in Nerja, Spain since 1992 where he established a marketing agency to help Spanish businesses sharpen their communications to the rapidly growing number of foreign visitors. He's traveled extensively around the Iberian Peninsula visiting most of the ancient cities and hundreds of wine bodegas. In the early years he published lifestyle and property magazines, guide books and travelogues in English, German and Spanish. More recently, groups of discerning Alumni groups of Americans and Canadians have enjoyed his tour director services. He's lectured about Living in Spain and bullfighting, and has appeared on local Radio and TV. The Andalusian Mystery Series draws on his own experiences as a voluntary translator in hospitals and police stations. Darkness in Malaga is his debut novel.