Either you kill the bull, or the bull kills you - traditional proverb.
Chief Inspector Max Cámara hates bullfighting but one hot afternoon in Valencia he has to replace his boss, judging a festival corrida that stars Spain's most famous young matador. That night, he is summoned back to the bullring where the young matador's dead body now lies, naked and mutilated.
As the city prepares for Fallas, the five day festival of fireworks and celebrations, and the politicians work feverishly towards an election, Cámara hunts down his prey through the city's streets and bars. But as he follows the trail of death, money, corruption and sex in search of the killer, he must also battle his own demons and desires...
Webster's remarkable first novel, a baffling mystery centered on the world of Spanish bullfighting, introduces Chief Insp. Max C mara of the Valencia police. Despite attacks from animal rights activists and politicians hoping to ride public opposition to bullfighting into office, the sport has had a resurrection, thanks to a charismatic young matador, Jorge Blanco. When Blanco's naked body turns up one night in an empty bullring, with two banderilla darts hanging from his back, a matador's sword in his rib cage, and a Spanish flag tied around his neck, C mara isn't pleased to be assigned what is bound to be a high-profile murder case. Webster makes the bullfighting integral to the plot rather than a mere backdrop, effortlessly conveying the role of the sport in Spanish society. The well-rounded lead cynical, willing to bend the rules, emotionally wounded should be more than capable of sustaining a long series.