The Devils of Cardona by Matthew Carr

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...The Devils of Cardona may come a little too close to being a left-leaning, bourgeoisie fantasy for some readers. That being said, the central story and its complex mystery holds the drifting ship together, and Carr certainly delivers a powerful punch in his debut.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

In this gripping historical thriller set in sixteenth-century Spain, a Catholic priest is murdered by a mysterious Muslim avenger as the Inquisition continues to force Moriscos to live and worship as Christians.

In March 1584, the priest of Belamar de la Sierra, a small town in Aragon near the French border, is murdered in his own church. Most of the town’s inhabitants are Moriscos, former Muslims who converted to Catholicism. Anxious to avert a violent backlash on the eve of a royal visit, an adviser to King Philip II appoints local magistrate Bernardo de Mendoza to investigate. A soldier and humanist, Mendoza doesn’t always live up to the moral standards expected of court officials, but he has a reputation for incorruptibility.

From the beginning, Mendoza finds almost universal hatred for the priest. And it isn’t long before he’s drawn into a complex and dangerous world in which greed, fanaticism, and state policy overlap. And as the killings continue, Mendoza's investigation is overshadowed by the real prospect of an ethnic and religious civil war.

By turns an involving historical thriller and a novel with parallels to our own time, The Devils of Cardona is an unexpected and compelling read.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Matthew Carr

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Matthew Carr is a writer, broadcaster, journalist, and the author of Blood and Faith: The Purging of Muslim Spain (a New York Times Editors' Choice), The Infernal Machine: A History of Terrorism, and the acclaimed memoir My Father's House. He lives in Derbyshire, England.
 
Published June 14, 2016 by Riverhead Books. 413 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Devils of Cardona
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Esmeralda Santiago on Jul 27 2016

Every once in a while the long arm of coincidence overreaches to pluck the heroes from near death, but this is a quibble in a novel that is as exciting as it is enlightening from its first pages to its satisfying end.

Read Full Review of The Devils of Cardona | See more reviews from NY Times

NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Benjamin Welton on Jul 22 2016

...The Devils of Cardona may come a little too close to being a left-leaning, bourgeoisie fantasy for some readers. That being said, the central story and its complex mystery holds the drifting ship together, and Carr certainly delivers a powerful punch in his debut.

Read Full Review of The Devils of Cardona | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

Reader Rating for The Devils of Cardona
83%

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