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The Blind Man of Seville (Javier Falcon #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,877 Ratings  ·  150 Reviews
The first in Robert Wilson’s Seville series, featuring the tortured detective Javier Falcon.
The man is bound, gagged and dead in front of his television.The terrible self-inflicted wounds tell of his violent struggle to avoid some unseen horror. On the screen? In his head? What could make a man do that to himself?

It's Easter week in Seville, a time of passion and process

Hardcover, 448 pages
Published February 3rd 2003 by Houghton Mifflin (first published January 3rd 2003)
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Chad Fairey
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-booklist
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
I would like to remark on the male characters that Robert Wilson creates. They make this novel absorbing and a reason that I continued to the end. These are not really men who have much in the way of redeeming characteristics, are frighteningly misogynistic, violent and happy to kill and murder for the basest of motives. Probity and ethics elude them. Such are the characters of the murdered victim that Falcon encounters and as we learn later, his father. His father is pivotal to the entire premi ...more
Jan 08, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

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
Stephen Hayes
A crime novel set in Spain.

Unlike some crime novels set in non-English-speaking countries, this one was not written in Spanish and then translated, but appears to have been written in English from the start, though it has quite a lot of Spanish words and phrases in it. The author has an English name, but his bio says nothing about where he was born or where he lives, or whether he lives or has lived in Spain.

The story grows more interesting and compelling as one gets into it. Robert Wilson uses
Jun 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Eric Gates
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Robert Wilson’s intricate noir thriller ‘The Blind Man of Seville’ constantly reminded me of the classic detective novels of the 1940’s with their subtle complexities, solid storylines and in-depth characters. This is not the sort of read you can expect to finish in a few sittings. Its phrases and protagonists incite a need to bite deep into the scenes author Wilson creates, to taste the flavours of Seville in the early twenty-first century and Tangier in the ‘fifties, along with the fino and ta ...more
Reinaldo Lourenço
Sep 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lidos-2014
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...
Sep 17, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Sally Sugarman
This is the first of four books about Chief Inspector Javier Falcon. Given the psychological breakdown that he experiences, one would expect that this would be the last book about him. However, the author who is English and divides his time between England, Spain and Portugal has other ideas as he combines elements of a psychological thriller with an historical novel told through a journal by the inspector’s artist father. Neither the father nor the son are characters with whom one can easily id ...more
Feb 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
En primer lugar, destacar que no es el típico thriller. En esta novela Robert Wilson nos describe a Javier Falcón, un detective que trabaja en Sevilla, en plena semana santa, investigando el brutal asesinato de un restaurador, al que le han sacado los ojos mientras le obligaban a ver un video que sin duda no quería ver. Pero aparte del crimen en sí mismo, y de todas las complejidades que de él se derivan, nos encontramos con la propia angustia del personaje protagonista. El detective no sólo ten ...more
Nov 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
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
Apr 18, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I got into the reading of this book, especially because I live in Seville. I think that Wilson tries to pack too much information about the city in a superficial way. Naming streets and celebration without getting in depth. Nonetheless I found it engaging and somber. It's not an uplifting book. I have mix feelings with this book, since I couldn't stop reading it but I can't say I "enjoyed" it.
May 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like it and parts of it were extremely good however there were also a few plot twists that just seemed a step too far.

Lovely writing style and some great characterisations. I would certainly try another by this author.
Ken Fredette
Jan 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
A contemplative thriller (oxymoronic I know) that evokes life in Seville - the author did overindulge occasionally on the descriptions, but you could almost smell the fiesta in the air, the rain that splatters off the cobbled streets.

Overview of Seville

This being the first book in a series, the story is more a character study of the protagonist - Javier Falcón, newly transferred chief inspector, offspring of one of the most famous Spanish artists in recent memory. He's very put together as a per
Jack Hrkach
This is my second book by Wilson, and as with the first, set in Lisbon, this one is set - well, it's pretty obvious from the title. In January I visit both places so I'm gathering information from all sorts of sources, including fiction. This one is one volume in a series of novels about the same detective (finished 3 days ago and already forgetting his name.

While it's not a guide to the city, I think I know it a bit better than before I read it (which was nothing except the location of my hotel
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This may be my favorite book of the year. It's early yet, and I'd be ever so glad if challengers arise just for the sheer joy of having another book this good to read.

And I'm somewhat surprised. I had read the starting book in his first series, 'Instruments of Darkness,' and found it to be a middling read: enjoyable but with weakness. 'The Blind Man of Seville' displays nothing but complete mastery of craft. I found this to be a brilliant read. No misstep to mar the reading experience.

The charac
João  Jorge
Jun 27, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  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. Hes 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 h ...more
Stefan Schulz
Dec 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first of the Javier Falcon thrillers, a criminal investigator of the Seville police department. With The Blind Man of Seville Robert Wilson took me by surprise. It starts out with a quite shocking killing where the investigation begins, but turns out to become a very personal storyline for the inspector jefe Falcon. One learns a lot about the protagonists of the novel, going quite deep into their minds. While I usually like stories that go straight on with the matter, the interwoven ...more
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Wonderful writing, with entire paragraphs that can make you stop just to admire to beauty of the language and phrasing. That said, it's a difficult book in that some of the events are rather gruesome.
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robert Wilson writes solid, page-turning murder mysteries. The first half the book was slow going for me, but half way through, I couldn't put it down. It's not the greatest, most Earth-shattering, but it is a good read.
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really had me going! What a twisty tale full of historical information and complicated characters. I'll look for more books in this series.
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Blind Man of Seville by Robert Wilson captured my problem solving skills in the first chapter, and by the end I was trying to figure out who did it. New author for me, and good for more detective work for those who love a mystery.
Aug 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was 50% about the plot line, and 50% about the development and insights into the main character, Javier Falcon. He is a deep-thinking man in crisis, and you can't get enough of his mind. I will read more in this series, because I want to keep following Javier Falcon's life and thoughts!
Sandra Danby
Jan 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
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
Manuel Antão
Dec 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2007

(Published originally on:
The Blind Man of Seville by Robert Wilson)

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Beim Lesen dieses Buch war ich gänzlich entgeistert! Es hört sich nicht an wie ein Krimi…:)
Als ich schon ungefähr 50 Seiten gelesen habe, war ich gänzlich entgeistert! Seit langer Zeit lese ich kein Buch mit dieser Qualität. Eins der besten BÃcher seit langer Zeit!
Wirklich hervorragend ist der unglaublich komplizierte und nicht leicht durchschaubare Plot.
Es ist sehr stilistisch. Es hat mich irgendwie an Hem
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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)