About the Book
The award-winning, international bestselling page-turner about the secrets and lies of one man that lead another into a treacherous house of strangers…
When novelist Manuel Ortigosa learns that his husband, Álvaro, has been killed in a car crash, it comes as a devastating shock. It won’t be the last. He’s now arrived in Galicia. It’s where Álvaro died. It’s where the case has already been quickly closed as a tragic accident. It’s also where Álvaro hid his secrets.
The man to whom Manuel was married for fifteen years was not the unassuming man he knew.
Álvaro’s trail leads Manuel deep into one of Spain’s most powerful and guarded families. Behind the walls of their forbidding estate, Manuel is nothing but an unwelcome and dangerous intruder. Then he finds two allies: a stubbornly suspicious police lieutenant and Álvaro’s old friend—and private confessor—from seminary school. Together they’re collecting the pieces of Álvaro’s past, his double life, and his mysterious death.
But in the shadows of nobility and privilege, Manuel is about to unravel a web of corruption and deception that could be as fatal a trap for him as it was for the man he loved.
With thanks to @ed_pr for the copy received. I read a lot more translated fiction than I used to do but this is the first Spanish fiction novel that I have read for years. I found the novel, region and especially the characters mesmerising.
The lead character is Manuel, a reclusive novelist is torn apart when he is told that his husband Álvaro has died in an accident. He struggles to accept that it was him, he wasn’t aware that he was in Galicia. But when he drives there, and meets his husband’s school friend Lucas who is now priest and a retired detective Nogueira he realises that Álvaro had a secret life.
There aren’t many characters in the novel and they are all very strong. Nogueira and The Raven ( I couldn’t think of a more apt name) especially so. Whilst it would be easy to dismiss Nogueira as a bully and troublemaker you soon realise that there are many layers to his personality. And below all the bluff, rudeness and over indulging in just about everything is a man in pain.
As the novel progressed it was a joy to see Manuel relax and form attachments. You could see he liked being in the company of people in a way he never had before. Even the dog Cafe brought out the best in him.
I had no idea which way the storyline would go. Did The Raven have any redeeming qualities? (no).Was Álvaro a good man,or a liar and a cheat? ( read it and see) Power, money, greed, corruption and social standing are the main themes throughout. It was ironic that some of the more despicable characters were the privileged. Combined with the decent, hardworking and generous locals who would make a stranger welcome in their lives.
Dolores Redondo is an author I will happily read again.