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The Assassin's Mark

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  78 ratings  ·  19 reviews
September 1938. Spain's Civil War has been raging for two years, the outcome still in the balance. But rebel General Franco is so confident of winning that he has opened up battlefield tourism along the country's north coast. Jack Telford, a left-wing reporter, finds himself with an eccentric group of tourists on one of the War Route's yellow Chrysler buses. Driven by his ...more
Paperback, 334 pages
Published March 20th 2013 by Silverwood Books (first published March 19th 2013)
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Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Although The Assassin's Mark reads superficially like a murder mystery (there was that unfortunate accident at the hotel..), I think the greater mystery posed here is which side was holding the moral high ground during the Spanish Civil War in 1938 - Franco's Nationalists backed by Hitler's Germany and Italy's Fascists, or the Republicans supported by the Soviets and the famous International Brigades?

A group of mainly British tourists, each with his or her own agenda, drive the plot as they spe
Apr 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
When Jack Telford, a maverick news reporter, decides to take a tour of the Spanish battlefields in September of 1938, the Spanish Civil War has been raging for two years. His fellow travellers on the war route are a disparate group of individuals, who each have their own reasons for making this perilous journey, and yet Jack with his passion for peacekeeping, finds himself drawn into a maelstrom of political conflict.

General Franco’s mission to open up the Spanish battlefields, whilst war was st
Ethekwinigirl (Karen) Lotter
Jan 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A great story with wonderful characters. I didn't know anything about the Spanish Civil War and so enjoyed the detail in this carefully written tale of intrigue. ...more
Felicity Terry
May 21, 2013 rated it liked it
With twists and turns aplenty, a strong sense of time and place and peppered throughout with vivid images of both the Basque region and its cuisine The Assassin's Mark is extremely well written and obviously thoroughly researched, the authors knowledge and passion for his subject shines through in this his second novel.

Set in 1930's Spain at the close of the civil war, alas, as it turns out, not a chapter in history that I found myself particularly fascinated by (I suspect that on this account I
David Eva
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A really good read -  I couldn’t put it down. It combines some great historical information on the Spanish Civil war and the politics and tensions of the time with some action and a “murder mystery”.  The story has some interesting twists and characters that enable the author to represent the different politics and viewpoints of the day albeit that some of them (for example the Professor) pretty unlikeable and a bit one dimensional.  It will no doubt not appeal to anyone who wants the author to ...more
Mar 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. I was impressed by the author’s ability to recreate an authentic sense of the ‘30s and also to give me a real feeling of being in Spain in that period. This wasn’t just about the settings but also the way in which the Spanish Civil War must have looked to ordinary people at the time. I was amazed to find that the plot is based around the battlefield tourism which Franco actually organised while the war was still being fought. Against this background, the author ...more
T.S. Arthur
May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Firstly I must thank Ebsworth not only for providing a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review, but also for having immense patience in waiting for me to provide him with that review. I must also point out how much I have enjoyed reading this book, even if I did struggle to get into the book at first.

There are several aspects which I feel to be major strengths in this book, particularly the characterisation. The assembled cast of characters are all extravagantly wonderful
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was the first one for me to review this year. I was thrilled when the author asked me to read his story and I am glad that I agreed!

From opening the first page, I walked through the door into a world I knew nothing about; or rather it has been years since I’d thought about – the Spanish War. As a matter of fact, I don’t remember anything from school about this particular event. Yet thanks to the author, I felt like I was there. I found myself googling titbits to get more information be
Sep 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved everything about this book! It is truly well-written and has intrigue, mystery, suspense, sex, and history and characters that took me to Spain and made me apart their adventure. I figured out two of the mysteries and was yelling warnings to the characters, like they could hear me. When I do that, I know I'm really into the story! lol I highly recommend The Assassin's Mark for anyone who loves historical fiction, Spain's history, political intrigue, mysteries, colorful characters, or sim ...more
Phil Hughes
Jun 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read highly recommended

I loved this book. I got really immersed in the pre-war Spain of the story. I now want to visit Spain and follow the route of the tour bus. Jack Telford is a great character and I now feel I have to re-read the second book, which I inadvertently read first. Mr Ebsworth’s next book, The Doubtful Diaries of Wicked Mistress Yale is on my want to read list.
Jun 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a fascinating story about a group of British tourists on a coach trip through the civil war battlefields of Spain in 1938. News reporter, Jack Telford, joins a variety of characters for the journey with a range of views on the motives of the civil war. The mystery of the tragic death of one of the members of the trip is wrapped up within the story of the politics of the era.
This is an era of history I know little about, but this book has left me craving more knowledge.
Jan 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, detective
Really enjoyed the setting (Northern Spain in 1938) of this story, it had a lot to interest both geographically and historically. I was a little disappointed by the somewhat wishy-washy ending, but the journey there was worth reading all the same.
Monika Evans
May 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Gripping thriller set in Spain towards the end of the Civil War, packed with fast paced action, mystery and fantastic sense of humour (certain characters and scenes in the book left my crying from laughter). Thoroughly enjoyable, even if you know absolutely nothing about the Spanish Civil War. David’s unique way of writing presents you with extremely well researched background to the story, the politics, tragedy of war and the Spanish culture. Descriptions of places will make you feel like you’r ...more
Callum Clement
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
More of a detective novel, rather than being specifically about the Civil War, it is none the less entertaining, as Jack Telford an English journalist sympathetic to the Republican cause, joins a host of other characters, most of whose loyalties lie with Franco, on a tour of the War Routes of Northern Spain. Murder, espionage and political intrigue abounds, as, in the words of another tourist in the epic journey, "no-one is quite what they seem." ...more
Jude Lennon
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Gripping! As more recent historical fiction than I would normally choose, I wasn't sure how I'd get on with this but it was utterly gripping. The Spanish Civil War is so recent in terms of World Events and yet I knew very little about it. The main character is cleverly and skilfully drawn. ...more
Feb 29, 2016 rated it liked it
In September 1938 the forces of the Spanish Republic had been defeated by the onslaught instigated by Franco's coup. Though the Popular Front government still held Madrid and Catalunya, but the sense was that the air-power support the Nationalists had received from Hitler and Mussolini had turned the tide against the Republicans.

Franco chose this moment to extend an invitation to the world to come and visit the battlefield sites of the Basque country and the Asturias in an effort to counter the
Sep 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-reads
An excellent read. Set just prior to WW2 , a tour bus visits landmarks from Spanish civil war. On Amongst the group are British fascists. & a journalist but all are not what they seem. A murder ensuess plus a plot. A page turner. I felt as if I was on the bbus with these people & that I was indeed in the 1930's.

Oct 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, 2014, 30authors
War and Tourism Collide in 'The Assassin's Mark' by David Ebsworth - A book about battlefield tourism during the Spanish Civil War. For the review, visit The Book Wheel. ...more
gj indieBRAG
Aug 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
We are proud to announce that THE ASSASSIN’S MARK by David Ebsworth is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree. This tells a reader that this book is well worth their time and money!
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Is Jack dead? 3 7 Mar 31, 2013 05:09AM  

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David Ebsworth is the pen name of writer, Dave McCall, a former negotiator and Regional Secretary for Britain's Transport & General Workers’ Union. He was born in Liverpool (UK) but has lived since 1980 in Wrexham, North Wales, with his wife, Ann. Following their retirement in 2008, the couple have spent about six months of each year in southern Spain. Dave began to write seriously in the followin ...more

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“Is it not fear that drives atrocity? It is natural enough to hate our enemies. Of course it is. How could anybody kill another person unless they had learned to hate them? But when you are afraid of them too, terrified by them rather, isn’t that when atrocity begins? Scared beyond reason. We call it the Terror always. For you it’s the Red Terror. For the Republicans it’s the White Terror. But actually the real terror is in the hearts of those who commit the atrocity.” 1 likes
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