Already a #1 international bestseller, this tautly written and gripping psychological thriller forces a police inspector to reluctantly return to her hometown in Basque Country - a place engulfed in mythology and superstition - to solve a series of eerie murders.
When the naked body of a teenage girl is found on a riverbank in Basque Country, Spain, homicide inspector Amaia Salazar must return to the hometown she always sought to escape. A dark secret from Amaia's past plagues her with nightmares, and as her investigation deepens, the old pagan beliefs of the community threaten to derail her astute detective work. The lines between mythology and reality begin to blur, and Amaia must discover whether the crimes are the work of a ritualistic killer or of a mythical creature known as the Basajaun, the Invisible Guardian.
Torn between the rational procedures of her job and the local superstitions of a region shaped by the Spanish Inquisition, Amaia fights against the demons of her past in order to track down a killer on the run.
©2012 Dolores Redondo (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved, recorded by arrangement with Atria Books, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc. English-language translation © 2013 by Izzie Kaufeler. Originally published in 2012 in Spain as El guardián invisible by Planeta by agreement with Pontas Literary & Film Agency.
Maybe two stars is a bit harsh because it's not a bad book. It's original in it's use of folklore and in the complexity of its characters. The problem is the main case (which is brutal) gets drowned out with all the other drama going on with the characters. Honestly, can't say I cared for any of them in the end, even the strong females. The killer was obvious too, which is always a bit of a downer. The ending redeems much of the dragging on in the middle but, for me anyway, if was too little to late.
I actually did buy the second in this series...something about bones. The early pages confirm my views of this first novel.
I did not find a most memorable moment.
Her ability to give voice to emotions such as fear, contempt, guilt...are impressive. I will look for other books she has read/performed.
Yes, a second book is called for because the character development in the first is rather awkward. I thought the main character's mother, who was described alternatively as maliciously and intentionally mean as a snake then mentally ill, was representative of somewhat clumsy character development--too extreme? Neither was believable, and an editor who could smooth out the edges would be good. Similarly, the main character is portrayed as someone with strong instincts and intuition but still someone with the self-awareness and insight of cement, traits that seem mutually inconsistent. I'm hoping the second book may address these problems. So far--about 25% of the book--however, the main character is still presented as having the self-awareness and insight of cement but amazing intuition.
I'll keep listening to book two and hope for the best. So far, I find myself mostly disengaged from the fate of the main character. Subtle, introspective, but compelling character development for me is the key to a book I enjoy.
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