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Sunday, 01 November 2009

Empar Fernández & Pablo Bonell Goytisolo

Barcelona: Editorial Pàmies, 2009; 235 pp.; 16.95 euro

Translated by Jean Burrell

ImageRaking up the past

‘Whether he fell or they pushed him, there was probably no one who had the opportunity to see it. A crime may have been committed, but perhaps there were no witnesses. Even if there were, there’s no way it’s humanly possible to find them 30 years on.’
With these words spoken by Santiago Escalona we launch into the third outing for the Barcelona deputy inspector from the el Raval neighbourhood who was the main character in Las cosas de la muerte and Mal sangre, both published by Tropismos.

With the title Un mal día para morir we find firmly established the saga of an emblematic character in the crime genre. Once again the two authors Empar Fernández and Pablo Bonell Goytisolo show us how to write an excellent tale four-handed.

On this occasion the unusual investigator is faced with a tricky business that turns out to be costly: his old boss Garrido, who is terminally ill, asks him to investigate a case that remained unsolved many years before: to find out what happened to Alberto Boisgontier, a young left-wing student activist who was discovered dead the same afternoon General Francisco Franco died.

To do this Escalona has to go deep into the affair and reveal some skeletons in cupboards: interview suspects who say they have no idea what happened, uncover some dodgy police procedures and even relive those beatings in the cells at the via Layetana police station, to the point of risking with his life, a life that he now more than ever deserves to live. All this to get at the truth of the matter, a truth that maybe arrives on a bad day too.

Empar Fernández (Barcelona) has a degree in clinical psychology and contemporary history. She teaches in secondary school and writes scripts for documentaries. She has published more than half a dozen solo books and was recently a finalist in the ninth Fernando Quiñones Unicaja Novel Prize with her book El loco de las muñecas, as well as winner of the fifth Rejadora Short Story Prize with La cicatriz.

Pablo Bonell Goytisolo (Barcelona) is a graduate in geography and history and works as a teacher of Spanish at IESE University. He is the author of various materials for teaching Spanish to foreigners.

Together they have published Cienfuegos 17 de agosto, a novel set in colonial Cuba, the story ‘La vida antes de la muerte’, which is included in the anthology La lista negra: nuevos culpables del policial español, and the first two titles in the series set in Barcelona with deputy inspector Escalona as its hero, Las cosas de la muerte and Mala sangre.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 19 January 2010 )
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