A compelling tale of art, love and war...
A man lives alone in a watchtower by the sea. On the circular walls of the tower he is painting a grand mural - the timeless landscape of a battle. He is a former war photographer and the painting is his attempt to capture the photo he was never able to take; to encapsulate, in an instant, the meaning of war. But one day a stranger knocks on his door and announces that he has come to kill him. The man is a shadow from his past, one of the myriad faces of war and now the consequences of his actions are brought home to him. As the novel progresses, the story of both the soldier and the artist emerge, entwined with a doomed love affair, and the progress of a painting that is infused with the history of art.
Intense and turbulent this is a book about art, war, love and the human capacity for both violence and empathy. It asks very profound questions about human nature and the role of the artist, but it is also has the intensity of a psychological thriller as the painter trades stories with the man who has come to kill him - like the Knight playing chess with Death in the Seventh Seal....
this is a more personal and philosophical work than his [Perez-Reverte's] other books - HERALD
moral debate forms the substance of this atmospheric novel - DAILY TELEGRAPH
The debate between artist and subject lies at the heart of this very continental contest of wits - INDEPENDENT
Arturo Perez Reverte lives near Madrid. Originally a war correspondent, he now writes fiction full time. His novels include THE FLANDERS PANEL, THE CLUB DUMAS, THE FENCING MASTER, THE SEVILLE COMMUNION, THE NAUTICAL CHART, THE QUEEN OF THE SOUTH and the bestselling CAPTAIN ALATRISTE series. In 2003 he was elected to the Spanish Royal Academy. His website can be visited at www.perez-reverte.com