About Us

Contact Us


2001 Archives

First Chapters
World Travel
September Issue
October Issue
November Issue
December Issue
Feb 02 Issue
April 02 Issue
May 02 Issue
June02 Issue
July02 Issue
August 02 Issue

A Column on Robert Wilson
Alex Grant on A small Death in Lisbon

British crime and spy Novelist, Robert Wilson, has written six extraordinary novels. His fifth book A Small Death in Lisbon deservedly was awarded the Crime Writers of America Gold Dagger two years ago. Since then, Wilson has published a sequel to this brilliant book about Nazi subterfuge in wartime Portugal. The latest of his books Company of Strangers is an even more ambitious allegory also set during WWII and its aftermath. The author made his name in the 90’s with a quartet of vivid and sinister mystery books set in West Africa today. Possibly the best of this quartet is Blood is Dirt.

Now forty-five years old, Wilson, who has been regarded as an heir to the renowned John Le Carre has a much more opaque and welcoming style of writing whilst never neglecting the Byzantine complications necessitated by the espionage novel.

Upon rereading A Small Death in Lisbon I appreciated more fully Mr. Wilson’s gifts simply as a story-teller. This book is highly reminiscent of the novels of Philip Kerr, whose highly individual books such as Pale Violets set within the criminal justice system of Nazi Germany brought about an entirely new examination of the perplexities and profundities of wartime crime.

When everybody in organized society such as in The Third Reich is indulging some kind of criminal proclivity how can you separate the sheep from the goats? It takes an investigator of remarkable integrity and insight to even attempt such a mind-boggling task.
© Alex Grant September 2002

< Back to Index
< Reply to this Article

© Hackwriters 2002