Falling in Death and Love

Magnus Stanke’s Falling in Death and Love is set in the heat and dust of the Balearic Islands, a couple of years after the death of the Spanish dictator Franco. David is an itinerant sushi chef, by his results the first ever to set foot in Mallorca, because the restaurants and hotels aren’t buying. However, his unsuccessful job hunt leads him to cross paths with a beautiful Spaniard on holiday, and he realises that he’s willing to do whatever it takes to see more of her – although he expects that the most dangerous aspect to that resolution is that he’ll have to take up sky-diving.

Falling in Death and Love offers a good period thriller with a twist on the star-crossed lovers, embellished with period slang straight from the Summer of Love. Set hanging from parachutes, in hidden compartments under classic VW vans, and fleeing astride beat-up Vespas, David is chased by both the Spanish Mob and the vestiges of Franco’s special police, none of them with his good health in mind. On David’s side: peace and love, some sushi knives, and most of the population of Home, Mallorca’s resident hippie camp. Throughout, Magnus Stanke’s ability to capture the contrast in outlook between the special police and David really gives this novel a little something extra.

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