Excellent characterizations and plenty of plot twists wrapped in a dark timbre makes for a satisfying and entertaining read. This book introduces us to Inspector Hector Salgado, a Barcelona police homicide detective, who has just returned from visiting his native Argentina, as he is on “forced” leave due to beating up a sex trafficker ring leader who denied culpability in the death of a young Nigerian girl. Because of his violent actions, Hector is taken off this case while his former partner Sgt. Martina Andreu continues the investigation and stealthy keeps him updated. Now assigned to an open-and-shut case of a wealthy young man who fell to death from his balcony, Hector and his new partner Leire Castro are told to quickly wrap it up without a lot of fanfare.
As Hector, Martina and Leire begin to peel back the façade of the public faces of those connected to the two cases, there is a private world of deceit, betrayals and secrets held close to the chest and makes for intriguing plot twists. What I enjoyed most is while this very able police team gets to the truth of the crimes, is we are also learning more about their compelling back stories and their own personal dilemmas and demons. The cases are satisfactorily wrapped up and the author has adequately tantalized me to be invested in knowing how the personal issues will be resolved. And I must say that the last chapter is a pure teaser setting me up for the next book in the series.
The Summer of Dead Toys by Antonio Hill is a gripping murder with compelling characters set in sultry Barcelona. Recommend to mystery readers looking for a noirish style series.
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