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The Blind Man of Seville (Javier Falcon #1)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  1,221 ratings  ·  113 reviews
Detective Inspector Javier Falcón is transfixed by the brutalized face of murder victim Raul Jiménez in his Seville apartment. On his shirtfront, littered like exotic petals, are the man's eyelids, and so the victim’s relentless horror becomes the beginning of Falcón's own.

An old photograph at the murder scene prompts Falcón to read a set of journals left by his famous fat
Hardcover, 448 pages
Published February 3rd 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published January 1st 2003)
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Chad Fairey
I must confess that, when I dove into the Blind Man of Seville, I did it primarily for the narrative setting and expected it to be an indulgent but superficial detective story of almost "pulp" quality. A few chapters in, and I quickly realized how wrong I was -- this is a rich, complex and intricately woven tale that brings the best of historical fiction, thriller and detective fiction together in delightful and delicious fashion. Many detective writers are adept, spinning text that is tightly b ...more
A short take:

Reading this book made me want to visit Seville to experience the crowds that drift from cafe to cafe well into the early morning hours. It was easy to feel bad for the protagonist, Falcon, as he sank into a "miserable PI" role while others embraced what they had in life.

More thoughts:

I loved Wilson's description of the setting and the people in it; I did not care as much for the book's mystery or its antagonist. I got the sense that Wilson combined his sentiments about Seville with
How do you rate a book that's a tad too long but a well-written too long? I felt BMoS was long for a murder mystery and the pacing Consider that the first eight chapters in the book, roughly 20% of the book, comprised a single day. Don't get me wrong, the writing was good but the story definitely lagged in some spots.

I suppose Wilson was trying to flesh out his character but I felt he sacrificed the tension/buildup. There were several times where meaningless details that didn't add b
Reinaldo Lourenço
Bom... o que dizer deste livro?
Gostei bastante mas nao tanto como "O Ultimo acto em Lx".
Acho que o livro é muito extenso, apesar de estar mto bem escrito. A inclusao dos diarios do pai pelo meio da trama está mto bem conseguida.
Como detective nao posso dizer que tenha gostado muito do Javier Falcon, o gajo por vezes torna-se um bocado deprimente :(
Nao tenho o 2º livro da Saga, pode ser que encontre pela feira do livro. Os livros do RW sao um bocado carotes...
I found this book to be extremely difficult to finish. It is not about gruesome murders described in it nor characters themselves. No. [return][return]It is about entire disturbing depressive setting, journey of the main character [one Javier Falcon] through the history of his family - more precisely his father's. [return][return]Inspector Javier is one of those "crusader" policeman who never gets the easy mission - he always encounters people without any conscience, tries to dissect truth from ...more
Como gosto de ir variando em termos de géneros literários que vou lendo, desta vez optei por um policial. Deixem-me que vos diga que não sou propriamente fã. É das tais coisas que não se conseguem explicar muito bem... Até hoje, ainda não encontrei aquele autor que me fizesse mudar de opinião, mas quem sabe...

"O Cego de Sevilha" é um bom livro. Boa história, com bastante suspense, bem escrito, com uma excelente exploração das personagens (nomeadamente da personagem principal, Javier Falcón). A f

I enjoyed the book immensely. It is like a Scandinavian crime novel set in Seville but with even more emphasis on the psychological state of the detective. The writing is beautiful, after a particular chapter I was so moved I could not continue to read on immediately - it just didn't seem right. There are lovely descriptions of life in Seville and Spain, such as the brothers setting up the ham leg for the big family lunch. The novel will not be to everyone's taste as it is not a simple straight
One of the best books I've read in a long, long time. Inspector Jefe Javier Falcon works a bizarre case with his homicide team in Seville, Spain, that hits extremely close to home. As he uncovers the twisted past of his famous-artist father, he slowly experiences a series of epiphanies that leave him emotionally brittle yet compelled to discover the relationship between his own past and the killer at large. After finding his father's diaries ... it begins to come together. Author Robert Wilson k ...more
Sandra Danby
The first time I heard of the Javier Falcón books was when the first was dramatized on TV, and unfortunately I missed it. So it was with anticipation that I turned to the first of the four books, The Blind Man of Seville. My first impression was that it was the longest detective book I’d read in a while, but the reason for this soon became apparent: the back story in Tangiers. In a note at the back of the book, Wilson directs his readers to the full-length diaries he wrote for Francisco Falcón, ...more
I started this book because I'll be going to Seville and Morocco (the story is set largely in these places) later this year. Also, as some or all of this series of books had been made into a TV series I figured it couldn't be that bad (I missed the shows).

Well, for the first part of the book it was that bad. OK, we'd had a yucky death but after that it seemed to plod interminably with new plot lines leading seemingly nowhere. Javier Falcon (the main detective character) seemed beset by the demon
A seemingly interesting story line which gets lost in a maze and emerges into very little - occasional good use of language spoilt by over complicated construction and, in the end, unbelievable plot. A Sunday Times recommendation gone wrong.
Kenneth Fredette
His style of writing is completely different when he writes about Africa in his Bruce Medway series. I like this story because it was so believable in that all the acts of violence were real in there telling.
Toni Osborne
Javier Falcon book 1

Inspector Jefe Falcon is called to the home of Raul Jimenez, a successful and politically influential man in his 70s --- he had been tortured until he died of heart failure. The eyelids have been cut from the mutilated body by his killer so that he cannot avoid the images playing on his TV screen, this, triggers a reaction in Falcon that is something more than horror. The primary suspect at the outset is the widow, Dona Consuelo Jimenez. But the widow is certainly not the onl
Rodrigo Oliveira
Creio que este foi o primeiro policial que li e, sinceramente, confesso que não é o meu género literário preferido.
A história desenrola-se sob a perspectiva do detective de homícidios Javier Fálcon que, na investigação de um assassínio macabro, ver-se-á envolvido numa viagem ao passado da sua família, nomeadamente do seu pai.
Não obstante os meus gostos literários se orientarem para outra "prateleira", a leitura deste Cego de Sevilha acabou por ser agradável. No entanto, para um policial, achei q
This was a wonderful book, a book that uses the metaphor of a crime to investigate the psychological mysteries of the detective. The backdrop of Seville during Semana Santa and of Tangiers after WWII heightened the intrigue.

"I thought that when my father died I would be pleased. It would be a relief and a release from ... It would signify the end of all these unfinished thoughts....Thoughts that have no ending. Thoughts that are interminable because they have no resolution. Thoughts that leave y
David Fenton

This story, told through the dual narratives of standard third-person and diary entries, is expertly handled. The opening chapters can seem slow at times due to the use of Spanish terminology as well as the need to introduce as many of the main players as possible. However, the pace soon picks up as Javier Falcon, the detective, investigates the murder of a leading restaurateur, struggles with the demands of a new job in a new city, and seeks to understand the motivations of his late father, a f
This book is difficult to rate given the system available. Wilson's writing is commendable, his description evocative and his portrayal of psychological tension compelling. However, the gruesome murders and the breakdown of the main character, Javier Falcón make for an unsettling read. This police procedural makes the reader feel as if it is happening in real time and left me as exhausted as Falcón by the climax. Sunny Seville by day becomes a menacing character itself by night. Secrets abound, ...more
Natacha Martins
É um livro muito interessante, passa por várias épocas da história espanhola, a guerra civil e a segunda guerra mundial. Durante a investigação fazem-se referências às suspeitas de corrupção aquando da Expo'92 em Sevilha. Fala-se de pedofilia e do contrabando praticado nos anos 50, 60 no norte de África em Tânger, onde viviam muitos espanhóis.
Está muito bem escrito com uma história equilibrada com as doses certas de tensão. O único senão para mim foi não haver uma melhor caracterização do assass
Hum... Confesso que estava a espera de mais. Trata-se de um policial, na minha opinião, mediano, sem grandes surpresas e - um grande defeito num policial - muito previsível, sendo garantida alguma imprevisibilidade pelo facto de o verdadeiro culpado permanecer oculto ao leitor até praticamente o fim do livro.

Logo no início do livro percebe-se quase instintivamente que o assassinato irá orbitar em torno da esfera pessoal do Inspector Jefe Falcón, e a criação de todo o background histórico se enre
Mike Coleman
This dark, potent book moves back and forth in time at its own sweet pace. Like another mystery of Wilson's, A Small Death in Lisbon, Blind Man traces the roots of contemporary evil to the buddyship between the Iberian peninsula and Nazi Germany in WWII; I find it a fascinating premise for a book.

Mingled with the contemporary story, the journal entries of Inspector Javier Falcon's father, a debauched artist and gun-happy smuggler of goods from Morocco to Spain during the war, are beautifully don
João  Cardeira Jorge
Aug 20, 2013 João Cardeira Jorge rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone with a strong stomach!
“The Blind Man of Seville” is a well written, competent thriller that almost reaches greatness but never quite gets there. The book has two flaws. The first is Javier Falcon, the protagonist. He´s a homicide cop in Seville, a quiet, stoic man, always in control and emotionless in his job. This all changes when he reaches the scene of a horrific homicide and looks at the disfigured face of the tortured victim, Raul Jimenez, an elderly man who was tied and forced to watch something so horrible to ...more
Not to judge a book by its cover (or an author by his name), I didn't have the greatest expectations that an author blandly named "Robert Wilson" would be able to transport me to Spain, or provide me with unique insights into the culture or the region. However, the recommendation of a Latin Americanist anthropology professor who lives part time in Spain was enough for me to temporarily suspend my disbelief.

As the book began, I found myself thinking I was reading a trashy beach burner, but it did
Edwin Battistella
My book group read A SMALL DEATH IN LISBON featuring inspector José Coelho last year, and this year got around to THE BLIND MAN OF SEVILLE, the first in the Inspector Javier Falcón series. Like Coehlo, Falcón is brooding and complex and this book is much more of a dark psychological study of its two main characters, Inspector Javier Falcón and especially his father, the artist Francisco Falcón. Despite the darkness, or because of it, it was gripping and especially at the start—Francisco’s diarie ...more
There were parts I thought were well done and interesting, but the book really lacked something. Very self indulgent perhaps. I hated Francisco Falcon and didn't understand why his son didn't express more surprise and disgust at the things his father did, war or not. Maybe the book tried to do too much. In a nutshell the story tries to solve a heinous crime(s), pyschoanalyze the leading police detective and his relationship with his father and remember his mother as he himself is suffering a bre ...more
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Anna Engel
I really wanted to like this book. I initially enjoyed the story's darkness and psychological twists and turns. But the turns dragged on and on and the stroll became a slow stumble. Sadly, I got bored.

The story is very dark, and only partially because of the murder that is the book's center. Inspector Javier is a well-developed character whose past – and that of his famous artist father – affects his present. I wish I could have stayed engaged and finished the book.

As a side note, it helps to ha
Shar Wallis
Several storylines are entwined throughout The blind man of Seville by Robert Wilson. I like his writing style. I don't know how to speak Spanish, so some translation would have been nice.

We are duly warned that, if we get through the prologue, which is about torture from the point of view of the victim, we will most likely want to read to the end of the book. It is not an easy read but a rewarding one.

Seville's chief homicide detective Javier Falcon, son of a famous painter, struggles to identi
The Crime Scene Scene
The Blind Man of Seville is the first novel in the Inspector Javier Falcon series by author Robert Wilson. A leading restaurateur has been found bound gagged and with no eyelid. Most of the wounds are self inflicted. Falcon is called in to investigate and their seem many reasons for his death including a resentful wife or corruption. However, when more bodies start to appear Falcon realises that the killer is much closer to home and discovers that it is connected to his past, one he never knew h ...more
I started reading this because I had just been to many of the locations in the book and thought it would be a quick light read. Boy was I wrong. What I thought was going to be a by the numbers detective story turned into much more. And ended up being much better. As a side note Hemingway would be proud of the writing in the bullfighting scene near the end.
I read this on holiday in Dubai, but the dark tone of the novel and the spot-on descriptions of what it can be like suffering from extreme stress didn't really fit the surroundings! Some of the passages about anxiety I almost felt I could have written myself, although here they are experienced by the main detective as he unravels a case and his own past with it. The only problem I have with these books is that sometimes the murders are just too fanciful and convoluted, and this was no exception. ...more
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Robert Wilson has written thirteen novels including the Bruce Medway noir series set in West Africa and two Lisbon books with WW2 settings the first of which, A Small Death in Lisbon, won the CWA Gold Dagger in 1999 and the International Deutsche Krimi prize in 2003. He has written four psychological crime novels set in Seville, with his Spanish detective, Javier Falcón. Two of these books (The Bl ...more
More about Robert Wilson...

Other Books in the Series

Javier Falcon (4 books)
  • The Vanished Hands (Javier Falcon, #2)
  • The Hidden Assassins (Javier Falcon, #3)
  • The Ignorance of Blood (Javier Falcon, #4)
A Small Death in Lisbon The Company of Strangers The Hidden Assassins (Javier Falcon, #3) The Vanished Hands (Javier Falcon, #2) The Ignorance of Blood (Javier Falcon, #4)

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