Pawel, Rebecca – WATCHER IN THE PINE

WATCHER IN THE PINE (Pol.Proc-Spain-1940) – VG Pawel, Rebecca – 3rd in series

Soho, 2005- UK Hardcover- ISBN: 156947379X

The Civil War is over and Lieutenant Carlos Tejada has received his first independent command so he, and his very pregnant bride, Elena Fernandez, move to the small mountain village of Potes. It quickly becomes clear this was not the idyllic posting they’d hoped. Arriving in a snowstorm, there is no one to meet them. There are no quarters suitable for a couple so they rent an apartment in a less than friendly tavern. The officers of the small Guardia Civil post are anything but welcoming to Tejada, especially as the Sergeant broadly hints of his knowledge regarding Elena’s Republican sympathies. But are events leading to a new outbreak of the War? Guerilla activities are increasing, dynamite has disappears, a cache of weapons is found and attacks soon become very personal to Tejada.

I so enjoyed this book. Although written in the third person, we are allowed to listen in on Tejada’s and Elena’s thoughts showing us their very human insecurities, fears and frustrations. The relationship of Tejada and Elena wonderfully exemplifies a newly married couple, with different personalities, still getting to know each other. The inequality of women during this period in Spain, particularly in a small village, adds interest to the plot. Although the situation of civil unrest is the mystery in the story, it’s the characters who kept me involved.

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