In Spanish, Prado translates as meadow. A green and fertile place where nature thrives. It also serves as a surname. I had the pleasure to work with a property developer called Pepe Prado. Pepe was a distinguished character, a true caballero through and through. Unusually, his parents had shipped him off to Germany to study construction engineering and learn another language. On his return, he joined Bau Hoffman, a large German building company converting the dying sugar cane fields along the Torrox coast into what is today Torrox-Costa. When they overtraded and went bust, Pepe took them over from the bank and later developed Torrox Park. Appropriately, a lush green space with luxury properties on what would otherwise be scrubland. It was only logical for Leon Prado to have similar personality traits. His first name is Leon because I liked the synergy and music of the combination.
I prefer that my main characters are not more screwed up than the villains. Leon overindulges in whiskey from time to time and forgets to play his paternal duties on his sons’ special occasions but for police officers everywhere, that tends to be the norm. In my books, it’s the bad guys who have the problems.
Prado is fifty-two and was born in Cordoba, the eldest of six children. His father was a postman and his mother stayed at home busy managing the large family and tiny house. He didn’t do well at school but managed to scrape through his Baccalaureate. He declined a university place not wishing to add to the family debt burden. Consequently, he was obliged to attend Military Service. After basic training he was posted to the Spanish Legion in Ronda where he became a military policeman. At last, he had found something he enjoyed and soon proved to be good at his job.
After mili, he married Inma Ordóñez, daughter of a bullfighter and had two sons. In order to feed his growing family, he started work for the national police in Malaga and thanks to his hard work and success at solving difficult crimes was promoted to officer in charge of the serious crimes squad.
Prado has his moments, but he is what he is. A traditional, ordinary copper somewhat obsessed with his career to the detriment of his family. However, he gradually works that out through the series as he discovers teleworking, smart phones and how to negotiate better with his boss.
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Darkness in Malaga is the first book in the Andalusian Mystery Series