Thursday, September 29, 2022

Review: The Silence of the White City, by Eva García Sáenz


The Silence of the White City, by Eva García Sáenz. Published 2020 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard. Translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor.

So this is a fun one for crime readers. Years ago there was a series of bizarre murders in the Basque region of Spain; someone was killing pairs of people, boys and girls the same age, and leaving their bodies in strange poses. The MO was suffocation by bee sting. A man was convicted, one of a pair of twins born to a wealthy and domineering man. Just before he's released, the murders recommence. Who did it? Who's doing it? His twin brother, or someone else?

The Silence of the White City definitely gripped and held my attention right from the beginning. The investigating officer, who goes by the nickname Kraken, is flawed, smart and believable; the narrative goes back and forth between the present and the past, and the story of the twins' mother and father. More bodies pile up; the murders move closer and closer to Kraken himself, until he almost suffocating, too.

It's a longer book than you sometimes see with a procedural but both stories moved at a good clip and when they come together and the killer is finally uncovered, it's devastating. It's also the first of a trilogy and while I'm not usually a series person, I might have to go hunting around for the next two. If you like dark and gritty crime I strongly recommend The Silence of the White City. It's fairly gruesome and there is some graphic sexual content. And it's a great mystery you'll like, if you like that kind of thing.

FTC Disclosure: I did not receive a complimentary copy of this book.

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