Blood MedBlood Med is a breath of fresh air. Set in contemporary Alicante, Chief Inspector Max Cámara is a cop with a conscience and a nasty murder to solve. The young American wife of Ruiz Costa is brutally murdered in their apartment and her husband is the prime suspect. On the same day there is an attempted suicide but the circumstances also call for this to be investigated by the HomicidÍos. Internal politics forces Cámara’s old partner, Torres, to split the team and work alone. Laura MartÍn, the new head of the sexual violence squad is also assigned to the murder case and is determined to prove Costa guilty.

Cámara’s grandfather is an old anarchist and his beliefs have rubbed off on the detective. Together they help set up a shelter for the local dispossessed using the city’s newly built disused Metro, terminated due to lack of funds. This is post-credit crunch financial crash Spain which is sadly immersed in corruption, gross government mismanagement and mass unemployment. The popular head of state, King Carlos, is sick in hospital which also causes tension throughout the country and serious implications for the constitution. Blood Med is no predictable crime thriller but also a fascinating historical and social study of this proud nation. It also highlights how old loyalties from the Franco-era can easily surface amongst the various divisions of the local and national police.

Packed with great characters, swift writing, and moral dilemmas, Webster manages to cleverly draw all these diverse elements together, creating a darn good read.

Reviewed by Gerard O’Hare from We Love This Book/9780701186913/£12.99 WLTB Logo