The Summer of Dead Toys: A Thriller (Inspector Salgado)
The Summer of Dead Toys has all the ingredients which should make for a very good book. Unfortunately, there are two problems with the plot. The first is the contrived way in which the necessary elements are put into play. Minor coincidences are to be expected, but these are major. The second problem is the perfunctory way in which one of the two crimes is resolved. It’s boiling up one minute and two pages later, it’s resolved. The translation into English is also somewhat wooden.
That said, this is an interesting example of a noir mystery set in Spain. We have the usual trafficking, child abuse, and so on, but in a different setting and with slightly different cultural responses. It’s also pleasing to see a good gender balance with two prominent female detectives to assist our hero as he struggles to overcome his personal problems while investigating a possible suicide by the son of a wealthy Catalan family. The result is a pleasing puzzle of motives to unravel as an old death resurfaces to plague the living. What happened during the titular summer is slowly teased out and takes center stage as the suicide looks increasingly like a murder.
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|Mystery, Crime, Thriller