Madrid, 1980. Juan de Vere, nearly finished with his university degree, takes a job as personal assistant to Eduardo Muriel, an eccentric, once-successful film director. Urbane, discreet, irreproachable, Muriel is an irresistible idol to the young man. But Muriel's voluptuous wife, Beatriz, inhabits their home like an unwanted ghost, and on the periphery of their lives is Dr. Jorge Van Vechten, a family friend implicated in unsavory rumors that Muriel now asks Juan to investigate. As Juan draws closer to the truth, he uncovers only more questions. What is at the root of Muriel's hostility toward his wife? How did Beatriz meet Van Vechten? What happened during the war?
Marías leads us deep into the intrigues of these characters, through a daring exploration of rancor, suspicion, loyalty, trust, and the infinitely permeable boundaries between the deceptions perpetrated on us by others and those we inflict upon ourselves.
©2014 Javier Marías; translation copyright 2016 by Margaret Jull Costa (P)2016 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
The narrator has an excellent Spanish accent that lends authenticity when pronouncing Spanish names. He has a rich, full-bodied voice that adds drama with differing inflections for each character. The plot is a classic Javier Marias intricate character-driven psychological mystery with satisfying revelations throughout. For those who like an earthy, long and complex story and who have the patience to wait for those revelations as they emerge from the detailed narrative.
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