Matt H.'s Reviews > Watcher in the Pine

Watcher in the Pine by Rebecca Pawel
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Oct 21, 2014

it was ok

In book 1, I despised Tejada for what he did early in the story. In book 2, the focus seemed more on Elena, and I managed through that one. Here in book 3, I loathe Tejada. I do not think he is a redeemable character. He does not grow or learn in any significant way. He does not love his wife, Elena; in fact, I am pretty sure he does not even like her. He admits page after page that he does not understand her. This lack of understanding occurs at a fundamental human level. Their worldviews (politics, life, education) are incompatible. After three books, I am not sure what drew them together in the first place. Elena is too strong of a character to continue to be subjugated to Tejada’s presence in her life. Yes, I understand this may be an accurate portrayal of what life was like in the early 1940s for people of these two backgrounds, but his treatment of Elena throughout is appalling.

The mystery itself is complicated with few clues for readers along the way. I am not entirely sure how Tejada figures it out. All at once, he seems to discover the solution with leaps and bounds of reasoning that do not seem to connect, perhaps because readers were not privy to all of the clues.

What saves this book for me is the setting. As always, Pawel delivers stunning backdrops, this time in the mountains and valleys of Northern Spain. The background characters create an attractive scene for Elena to interact with (Tejada thinks socializing with the commoners is beneath him, so we do not see him doing so). I am thankful there is only one more book remaining in the series because I cannot bear to read much more about Tejada.
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