Until the Curtain Falls: No Pasaran
This is the exciting sequel to Ebsworth’s highly enjoyable first novel - The Assassin’s Mark - on the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War.
Peace-loving, naive left-wing journalist, Jack Telford, had, during a two-week spell as a Foreign Correspondent in September 1938, surprisingly become fond of many of his fellow travellers on a bus tour of battlefield sites organised by General Franco’s Tourism Department.
The democratically elected Republican government was battling to prevent Franco, backed by fascist forces from Italy and Germany, from establishing a Nationalist government. The tours were intended to get international tourists to help celebrate Franco’s successes and get them to return home and ‘spread the word.’
Telford is drawn to a journalist who holds one of Franco’s most coveted awards. He’s shocked to discover she is, in fact, a passionate communist with links to the Soviet Union, who intends to use her access to the general to assassinate the dictator. Problem is the plan if successful would have left Jack to take the blame and so he kills the woman.
But what next? Can he escape being killed by a growing band of people and organisations? They include the Soviets that are providing military assistance to the Republican government and Franco’s forces. There are also pro-fascist members of the British diplomatic corps who learn that Telford knows they are doctoring reports being sent home about the true extent of war materials going from British firms in Spain to Hitler from the nationalists.
Ebsworth - who in real life is former TGWU regional secretary Dave McCall - has really done his research. In Until the Curtain Falls, Ebsworth brings to life the carnage, atmosphere, heroism, love, people, politics, architecture and landscape of Spain in the months leading up to the eventual defeat of the Republican government in 1939.
The tale is a great story that is packed with moments of real drama and passions. The survival of Telford - plus those helping him - is constantly thrown into doubt as he and his pursuers battle to outwit one another. Ebsworth, for whom this is his sixth book, is deservedly building a reputation for writing entertaining novels rooted in real history and this latest work will add to that reputation.
The Assassin's Mark was the Unite book of the month for November 2013
Until the Curtain Falls costs £10.99 and can be ordered through David’s site