Article published on August 17, 2011.
Xavier (Xavi) Aislado is a gentle giant, half Spanish, half Scot, brought up in Edinburgh by his grandmother, Paloma Puig, a ferocious old lady whose grim brand of care sees him into his teens, until his father moves back to Spain, leaving him to grow up fast. His emergence into manhood is colourful, and eventful. After a short career as a professional footballer, he turns to journalism, and has a bloody introduction to the trade, as his first assignment ends in violent death. Inevitably, remorselessly, as his autobiography unfolds, Xavi’s life and his love become entwined with his work, and he is immersed in tragedy, loss and betrayal, going halfway round the world in search of a truth that may destroy him. Quintin Jardine’s evocation of Xavi’s fated world is an unforgettable story of a man riding a one-way train to oblivion. Will he escape, before it hits the buffers, full-speed?
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