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The Silence of the White City

av Eva García Sáenz

Andra författare: Se under Andra författare.

Serier: Trilogia della Città bianca (book 1)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
2131197,127 (3.99)3
Una novela negra absorbente que mezcla mitología y leyendas, arqueología y secretos de familia. Elegante. Compleja. Hipnótica.  Tasio Ortiz de Zárate, el brillante arqueólogo condenado por los asesinatos que aterrorizaron Vitoria hace dos décadas, está a punto de salir de prisión cuando los crímenes se reanudan. En la Catedral Vieja, una pareja de veinte años aparece muerta por picaduras de abeja en la garganta. Pero solo serán los primeros. Unai López de Ayala, un joven experto en perfiles criminales, está obsesionado con prevenir los asesinatos, pero una tragedia personal no le permite encarar el caso como uno más. Sus métodos enervan a Alba, la subcomisaria, con quien mantiene una ambigua relación marcada por los crímenes, pero el tiempo corre en su contra y la amenaza acecha en cualquier rincón de la ciudad. ¿Quién será el siguiente?… (mer)
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» Se även 3 omnämnanden

engelska (6)  spanska (4)  tyska (1)  Alla språk (11)
Visa 1-5 av 11 (nästa | visa alla)
i really, really liked this. it was so engaging, right from the get-go, and was full of enough tension and intrigue to make me never want to put it down. the writing was good (sometimes even quite good) and the glimpses into basque culture were really interesting. i particularly liked learning about the cuadrillas and how they function there; it seems so unusual and impossible a structure to have in modern times, but it seems to still be alive and well.

there were so many references to historical things in the basque region, and to mythology and legends, and even though those were things that i am not familiar with, i really enjoyed reading about them. and it was a really interesting way for the reader to learn a little about basque architecture and history. and what an unusual murder method!

i didn't really buy the attraction between kraken and alba being anything more than a sexual thing (and i wasn't sure i bought that, either) but that's really my only complaint about this. i know the writing wasn't entirely consistent, and there were probably some threads that were loose or left hanging, but i didn't really notice any of that because the plot was so compelling and clipped along, and because the writing was good in the places that mattered the most to me.

"I trusted Estibaliz's judgment the way the back wheel of a bicycle trusts the front wheel. That's how we functioned; that's how we pedaled along." ( )
  overlycriticalelisa | Apr 14, 2021 |
Te engancha desde las primeras páginas, y los giros narrativos me han sorprendido ( )
  Raquelgas | Apr 11, 2021 |
Es el primer libro que leo de Eva y me ha gustado bastante, de hecho ya he empezado el segundo de la serie. Está bien narrado, te mete en la piel del personaje, incluso te sientes un poco en su mundo. También describe muy bien los escenarios, las zonas donde se basa el libro... Me han dado ganas hasta de visitar Vitoria y el resto de pueblos que describe. ( )
  EstanisGM | Mar 30, 2021 |
I'm delighted to say that Eva García Seáenz de Urturi's The Silence of the White City is volume one in a trilogy, because once you read this title you'll find yourself wanting more—and if you're like me, you'll be hoping the translation process goes quickly and smoothly.

The basic premise is this: a series of killings from twenty years ago appears to be starting again in Vitoria, a city in the Basque region of Spain. But the man convicted for those earlier killings is just about to be released on parole—just about, but hasn't yet been. This raises the immediate questions of a) has he found a way to continue his killings from behind bars? and b) was he really the guilty party in the first place?

García Seáenz de Urturi packs this novel with one twist after another, so that even when the reader has figured out much of the mystery there are still surprises in store. The cast of characters is broad and engaging. At the center are a pair of police detective—one male, one female—who have been working together for years. García Seáenz de Urturi creates a complex, believable relationship between the two of them that balances tensions and trust. Secondary characters are also well-developed. Some of them are likeable, some not so much—but they're all believable.

If you enjoy mysteries, particularly police procedurals, you'll find The Silence of the White City is a real gift: a lengthy read that rewards the reader throughout the narrative.

I received a free electronic review copy of this title from the publisher via NetGalley. The opinions are my own. ( )
  Sarah-Hope | Jun 25, 2020 |
To be honest, I’d forgotten that I had requested this book when the publisher approved me. When I saw that the book was 480 pages long, I groaned. My TBR list is long and I wasn’t looking forward to reading a long book that I’d requested impulsively and now suspected to be more literary than was good for it.

All that to say: I started reading in a grudging, grouchy, grumbling mood.

And within a page or two, that mood vanished. Eva Garcia Saenz lured me into her story. Though I’d intended to read only a few chapters, I kept reading The Silence of the White City throughout the day and quickly finished it.

PLOT

An archaeologist named Tasio is behind bars for the ritualistic murders that occurred twenty years earlier. For several months, pairs of victims had been found in places significant to the history of the city. Each pair was a male and a female, previously unknown to one another, with hyphenated last names; the ages of the victims were newborn, five, ten, and fifteen. The murders stopped when Tasio’s own twin brother, Ignacio, a police officer, solved the case. The cases rocked the city of Vittoria, and the current police investigator, Kraken, remembers the terror that dogged all twenty year olds with hyphenated last names: am I next?

Now Tasio, who has always maintained his innocence, will soon be released on parole. But before he is released, two new bodies are found, and the similarities are striking: a male and female, posed the same way, previously unknown to one another, with hyphenated last names, and age 20. It looks like the serial killer has continued his spree.

But how? Tasio is still behind bars . . .

Yes, the crimes are weird. The book’s opening is odd, too; our unknown serial killer has shot Inspector Kraken in the head. We don’t know if Kraken is alive or dead while he recounts the story of his investigation to us. Every so often, Kraken-as-narrator inserts his thoughts into Kraken-as-investigator’s account. I didn’t mind this, but I know some readers don’t care for it.

Interspersed with Kracken’s investigation are flashbacks about a young married woman and her doctor. These do have relevance, even if it’s not immediately apparent. I felt that this dual timeline was effective, as it helped develop the context for some important characters in the story.

The plot has the usual twists and turns. It’s slower than a typical thriller, and even slower than most current suspense or mystery novels. It has plenty of action, though, and the tension builds throughout the book until we reach the climax. But if you like your serial killer mysteries to be heart-pounding action from page one, the slower pace will frustrate you.

CHARACTERIZATION

As far as characterization goes, it’s adequate. The Inspector Kraken is the usual smart but grief-striken cop who can’t abide by the rules. His partner, Esti, and his new boss/love interest, Alba, are also decently developed, though there’s nothing terribly unusual about them. I connected emotionally with them, though. I felt their frustration at the baffling case, especially when the public makes the connection and begins to worry about 25 and 30 year olds. They demand answers. A solution. An arrest, because obviously, logic be d—d, the killer must be Tasio. Strangers walk up to Kraken and hand him list of their loved ones, trying to force him to give those people special protection (impossible) and accusing him of not caring about the potential victims. They don’t realize this case is personal for the detectives . . .

THE ATMOSPHERE & SETTING

The characters, plot and writing were adequate. But the book hooked me with something else entirely: the feeling of it. It sucked me into a particular feeling that made the city of Vittoria come alive, with all its mournful, strange, rich nuances. The private griefs and pains that echo off the city’s public monuments and buildings. The way history permeates everything. How one is never far from the past: whether that’s the far past–the city’s infancy or medieval age–or one’s personal past, the rumors and reputations leftover from childhood that dog people throughout their adulthood.

It’s the same feeling I have when I read a legend or fairy tale, part mystical, part real, part something I can’t put into words. The atmosphere of the city is simultaneously festive (it’s a holiday) and terrified. The setting is rich with customs and legends, superstitions and celebrations, steeped in history dating back a thousand years or more. The atmosphere and setting combine to create a feeling that grasped me.

Yes, there are parts where Kraken has the wry-voiced humor so pervasive among fictional cops/investigators. Yes, there are action scenes, sex scenes, and dialogue crackling with nuance (especially when Kraken goes head-to-head with the still-incarcerated Tasio). There are points where the syntax becomes hard to follow, as if it became tangled up in itself; this may be a translation issue.

But even so, I enjoyed the book. I felt like I was following a winding path through foggy fairy tale woods. Nothing is what it seems, no one is who they seem. Danger and hope feel equally possible around every turn. I was captivated by the story.

The Silence of the White City is recommended to mystery lovers who like a slower (but still intense) pace.
5 stars

Thanks to Knopf/Doubleday Vintage/Lizard and Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  MeredithRankin | May 25, 2020 |
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» Lägg till fler författare (10 möjliga)

Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Eva García Sáenzprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Jakubeit, AliceÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Olivieri, PaolaÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Veenings, ElviraÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat

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Una novela negra absorbente que mezcla mitología y leyendas, arqueología y secretos de familia. Elegante. Compleja. Hipnótica.  Tasio Ortiz de Zárate, el brillante arqueólogo condenado por los asesinatos que aterrorizaron Vitoria hace dos décadas, está a punto de salir de prisión cuando los crímenes se reanudan. En la Catedral Vieja, una pareja de veinte años aparece muerta por picaduras de abeja en la garganta. Pero solo serán los primeros. Unai López de Ayala, un joven experto en perfiles criminales, está obsesionado con prevenir los asesinatos, pero una tragedia personal no le permite encarar el caso como uno más. Sus métodos enervan a Alba, la subcomisaria, con quien mantiene una ambigua relación marcada por los crímenes, pero el tiempo corre en su contra y la amenaza acecha en cualquier rincón de la ciudad. ¿Quién será el siguiente?

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