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The Water-blue Eyes

by Domingo Villar

Spanish Euro Crime for a change. Fabulous description of the Galician scene and a gruesome plot lightened by lots of humour. A young saxophone player is found dead in horrible circumstances; it looks like a sex crime. Police Inspector Leo Caldas, who is becoming famous for his radio phone-in programme, investigates and finds things are not quite what they seem. Very atmospheric and often quirky - an author to watch.

Extract

Rafael Estevez licked his fingers and grabbed another one. For Leo Caldas these were the first sardines of the season; for Estevez the first ever. They hadn't planned to eat here, but Guzman Barrio's call informing them of the time of Reigosa's funeral, had forced them to change their arrangements. They decided not to return to Vigo, but grab a bite en route and attend the funeral shortly afterwards. It had been Rios who recommended the Porrino restaurant, though he himself had opted for deep-sea fishing rather than join them in sampling sardines. Rafael Estevez had insisted on braving the heat by sitting under the vines, to one side of the barbecue where the fish and some unpeeled potatoes were being slowly grilled over the corn-cob embers.
'These are great, Chief,' said Estevez with his mouth full. 'To be honest, I thought it was a bit disgusting to eat fish with your fingers, but you were right, they taste better this way.'
'I told you.'
Rafael left the backbone on his plate and grabbed another.
Translated by Martin Schifino

Parallels

August Heat by Andrea Camilleri
A Question of Belief by Donna Leon
 

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