The Assassin’s Mark – David Ebsworth

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Book review – the Assassin’s Mark

The Assassin’s Mark – David Ebsworth

£9.99 SilverWood Books

Dave Ebsworth – who in real-life is former TGWU regional secretary Dave McCall – has written a highly enjoyable and very descriptive novel set in the final year of the 1936-1939 Spanish Civil War. With the elected Republican government in disarray a confident General Franco has opened up the bloody battlefields along the country’s north coast to invite tourist’s to celebrate his successes and turn a blind eye to the atrocities he – and his Italian and German Allies – has committed.

Peace-loving, naïve left-wing reporter, Jack Telford, is asked by his employer to spend two weeks travelling by bus with a group of visitors that on the surface he has politically little in common with. It’s a journey of great heartbreak but also great beauty and Ebsworth brings both skilfully alive. The author provides vivid descriptions, especially of the architecture and social atmosphere, which helps transport the reader back 75 years.

Finding himself drawn to a right-wing female journalist, Telford can’t help but grow fond of many of his fellow tourists. Especially when the group is captured by Republican guerrillas and rescued by Franco’s forces in the days before a planned meeting with the general when Telford faces being betrayed.

David Ebsworth is the author of The Jacobites’ Apprentice, which was critically reviewed by the Historical Novel Society, who deemed it “worthy of a place on every historical fiction bookshelf”. For more information on Dave’s work visit

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