Wednesday, 3 May 2017

The Lisbon Labyrinth by David Ebsworth

Series:  A Jack Telford Short Read
Release Date: 1st May 2017
Publisher: sBooks
Genres: Political Thriller

Lisbon, 1974. Journalist Jack Telford must hunt down a killer, solve a deadly riddle, renew his acquaintance with an old flame, and survive Portugal’s revolution in this taut thriller with a life-and-death finale, which Jack may survive, but only at great cost.

There is a dossier, upon which the whole of Portugal’s future may hang, and Jack's quest to find both the killer and the lost documents will drag him into a labyrinth of deception and danger. Will his best-intentioned actions perhaps have the worst of consequences?

Is it too late for Jack’s past to be finally redeemed by love? And, in a world where nobody can be trusted, can Jack even trust himself?

Jack Telford had been tortured in the past. In Spain, more than thirty-five years earlier. In ’38. It had cost him his left eye and much more besides. His interrogator now, as then, was a lieutenant. On this occasion, the fellow had introduced himself as Tenente Estéves. Slim and slight. A neat civilian suit, naturally, but a lieutenant – a lieutenant firmly in the pay of a secret police force deployed by the regime that had ruled Portugal with an iron fist over the past four decades.

Political thrillers aren't usually my sort of thing but I thought I'd give this book a chance given that its a short book and I was able to read it in one evening. I'm really glad I did because the book kicks off with an exciting and slightly scary scene where our hero Jack Telford is being interrogated. From the outset we learn that Jack is an investigative journalist who earns his money through a little more than just reporting the news. He's been in quite a few scuffs over the years, losing his eye in the process. He's not a young man and his mind and body have taken quite a few batterings over the years. He reminded me a little bit of the James Bond character played by an older Roger Moore! Not sure why but that's just the image his mannerisms threw up at me and the way he spoke.

The authorities suspect Jack is a spy and set him the challenge to find a killer otherwise it will have serious consequences for him. Jack is against the clock and there is more at stake than just his own life. I really liked this book. It was well-paced, kept me interested and engaged and had really interesting and often complex characters with a love interest thrown in too! Lots of little clues thrown in and some surprising revelations that kept me reading! It was clear that David Ebsworth had clearly done his research in terms of the political scene in Portugal at that time and the civil unrest. I like  his writing style a lot and would love to read more Jack Telford stories. I'd say give this book a chance even if political thrillers aren't usually on your TBR pile. 


David Ebsworth is the pen name of writer Dave McCall, a former negotiator for Britain’s Transport & General Workers’ Union. He was born in Liverpool but has lived in Wrexham, North Wales, with his wife Ann since 1981.

Following his retirement, Dave began to write historical fiction in 2009 and has subsequently published five novels: political thrillers dealing with the 1745 Jacobite rebellion, the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War, the battle of Waterloo, warlord rivalry in sixth-century Britain, and the Spanish Civil War. His sixth book, Until the Curtain Falls – published in May 2017 – returns to that same Spanish conflict, following the story of journalist Jack Telford who, as it happens, is also the main protagonist in The Lisbon Labyrinth.

Each of Dave’s novels have been critically acclaimed by the Historical Novel Society and been awarded the coveted B.R.A.G. Medallion for independent authors. His work-in-progress is a series of a further nine novellas, covering the years from 1911 until 1919 and the lives of a Liverpudlian–Welsh family embroiled in the Suffragette movement.
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2 Responses so far.

  1. Thank you for the review. I hope this brilliant short read gets the readership it deserves!

  2. Dave McCall says:

    Thanks for posting this lovely review. And I'm happy to pick up any comments or questions. Glad you liked it though!

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