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A new novel about Congo mercenaries is available for Spanish readers. Antonio Padilla's 'La mano del muerto' is a sharp thriller about the links between Franco's Spain, Africa in the 1960s, and urban terrorism. CHRISTOPHER OTHEN, author of 'FRANCO'S INTERNATIONAL BRIGADES: ADVENTURERS, FASCISTS, AND CHRISTIAN CRUSADERS IN THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR' (amazon.co.uk or amazon.com)takes a look.



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Dead Man's Hand


Antonio Padilla's New Thriller About the Congo



Dead Man's Hand One of the best things about researching a book is the people you get to meet. In the course of writing about the Katanga secession I've encountered former mercenaries, UN conscripts, and teenage secessionists. Now I can add Barcelona-based thriller writer Antonio Padilla to the list.

Antonio has just published a novel that links Francoist Barcelona with war in the Congo. Spanish-language thriller 'La mano del muerto' dives into the violent underbelly of sixties Spain and comes up missing a few teeth. Here's the details:

Barcelona, early 1960's: anarchist urban guerillas are still alive and kicking and giving headaches to General Franco's secret police. Ex-Belgian Congo in the same decade: European mercenaries are operating in the African country's civil war. As it happens, some of those mercenaries are Spanish, and their reasons to be in the Congo are as surprising as their own personal biographies.

Working-class Barcelona and the jungles of the Congo are the settings for "La mano del muerto", a trans-continental odyssey featuring two thrilling plots and one unforgettable protagonist: the young José "Bulova" Martí. A truly original novel to come from Spain and a thriller for the intelligent reader, 'La mano del muerto' has been praised for its meticulous attention to historical detail and relentless narrative drive. A page-turner, if ever there was one.

Spanish readers can buy 'La mano del muerto' here. The very nice cover was done by Brazilian graphic designer Pilar Velloso.



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