The Summer Of Dead Toys
Broadway Books/Crown, May 13 2014, $15.00
Argentine émigré Héctor Salgado knows first-hand the prejudice Spaniards have against South Americans and how that bias can destroy his career, but the excellent Barcelona Police Inspector cannot control his quick temper that could give his superiors a reason to fire him. After battering human-trafficking ringleader Dr. Omar, he receives a severe admonition and suspension.
Back at work, Salgado, to his chagrin, investigates the seemingly accidental death of teenage college student Marc Castells who fell from a balcony. Salgado believes the assignment is to warn him to keep his rage in check while mollifying the deceased’s influential wealthy dad who has high level political connections. Salgado’s partner Leire Castro finds evidence that this was not an accident. As the pair conducts a homicide inquiry into Castells’ murder in which his friends refuse to cooperate and illegal drugs are involved; a fully healed Omar leaves behind a pig’s head before vanishing.
The first Salgado Spanish police procedural provides readers with a fabulous investigative thriller starring a strong flawed protagonist and a solid support cast in a wonderful setting. The official inquiry engages the audience while the feud with the vile trafficker enhances the tale with Salgado’s terrific tour of Barcelona adding depth to a super read.