OT: Valmayor Reservoir

The Embalse de Valmayor, or Valmayor Reservoir, is situated to the northwest of Madrid in the municipality of Valdemorillo. It is managed by the Canal de Isabel II, and belongs to the basin of the Guadarrama River. The reservoir, which runs along a length of eight miles upstream of the Aulencia River, occupies an area of 755 hectares and also serves the towns of El Escorial and Colmenarejo. In terms of the amount of water stored, the Embalse de Valmayor is the second largest reservoir in the province of Madrid, with a capacity of 124.4 million cubic meters. The largest is the Atazar Reservoir, located in the basin of the Lozoya River and boasting a whopping capacity of 425.3 million cubic meters.

Despite being built on the Aulencia River, the Embalse de Valmayor receives its largest contribution of water from the Guadarrama River, located several kilometres away and possessing a much higher rate of the flow of than the Aulencia. Water from the Guadarrama reaches the reservoir through a transfer tunnel, about five miles long, which has a small reservoir sensor called Las Nieves, located near La Navata, a residential area near the city of Galapagar.

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The 2015 Patrona Award Shortlist

The shortlist for The 2015 Patrona Award that was announced this morning is as follows:

  1. The Hummingbird by Kati Hiekkapelto tr. David Hackston (Arcadia Books; Finland)
  2. The Hunting Dogs by Jørn Lier Horst tr. Anne Bruce (Sandstone Press; Norway)
  3. Reykjavik Nights by Arnaldur Indriðason tr. Victoria Cribb (Harvill Secker; Iceland)
  4. The Human Flies by Hans Olav Lahlum tr. Kari Dickson (Mantle; Norway)
  5. Falling Freely, As If In A Dream by Leif G W Persson tr. Paul Norlen (Doubleday; Sweden)
  6. The silence of the Sea by Yrsa Sigurðardóttir tr. Victoria Cribb (Hodder & Stoughton; Iceland)

For additional details click here

I very much doubt whether I may be able to read them all before the announcement of the winner at the annual international crime fiction event CrimeFest, to be held in Bristol 14-17 May 2015. In any case I plan to take a break in The TBR Double Dog Dare, to be able to read as many titles as possible from the shortlist above. So far I’ve read only one, The Hunting Dogs by Jørn Lier Horst tr. Anne Bruce (Sandstone Press; Norway) my review is here.

Review: Gun Street Girl by Adrian McKinty

Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión en castellano desplazarse hacia abajo

Serpent’s Tail, 2015. Format: Kindle. File Size: 885 KB. Print Length: 336 Pages. ASIN: B00MG5TBV6. eISBN: 978-1-78283-051-1.

https://i0.wp.com/www.adrianmckinty.com/media/2014/10/9781846689819-1.jpgBook description: Belfast, 1985. Gunrunners on the borders, riots in the cities,The Power of Love on the radio. And somehow, in the middle, Detective Inspector Sean Duffy is hanging on, a Catholic policeman in the hostile Royal Ulster Constabulary. Duffy is initially left cold by the murder of a wealthy couple, shot dead while watching TV. And when their troubled son commits suicide, leaving a note that appears to take responsibility for the deaths, it seems the case is closed. But something doesn’t add up, and people keep dying. Soon Duffy is on the trail of a mystery that will pit him against shadowy US intelligence forces, and take him into the white-hot heart of the biggest political scandal of the decade. (Source: Serpent’s Tail)

Adrian McKinty takes up again the character of Sean Duffy, the protagonist of The Troubles Trilogy (see my reviews here, here and here).

It’s November 1985. Reagan’s the president, Thatcher’s the PM, Gorbachev has recently taken the reins of the USSR. The number-one album in the country is Sade’s Promise and Jennifer Rush’s torch son ‘The Power of Love’ is still at the top of the chart where it has remained for a dispiritingly long time…

As is his custom, McKinty uses characters and real cases upon which he builds his work of fiction. The case here revolves around the murder of a wealthy couple under strange circumstances and the subsequent suicide of their son, the main suspect. But what seems to be an open-and-shut case, soon it will become something much more complicated. In any case the plot is not necessarily the most outstanding feature of the novel, although it is well structured and is interesting. In my view what makes this book an outstanding experience is the quality of the writing, the complexity of the characters and the authenticity of the context in which the story takes place. Moreover, it is a highly entertaining read and, occasionally, with a nice sense of humour. Highly recommended.

My rating: A+ (Don’t delay, get your hands on a copy of this book)

Adrian McKinty was born and grew up in Northern Ireland. He studied law, politics and philosophy at university. In the early 1990’s he moved to New York City where he worked in bars, bookstores and building sites. He now lives in Melbourne, Australia. The first Sean Duffy novel The Cold Cold Ground won the 2013 Spinetingler Award for best crime novel, its sequel I Hear The Sirens In The Street, won the 2014 Barry Award for best mystery novel (paperback original) and In The Morning I’ll Be Gone won the 2014 Ned Kelly Award for best fiction and was named as one of the 10 best crime novels of 2014 by the American Library Association.

Gun Street Girl has been reviewed at Euro Crime (Mark Bailey), Crime Always Pays (Declan Burke), Shots Magazine (Adrian Magson), Crime Scene NI (Gerard Brennan), Reviewing the evidence (Karen Chisholm), among others.

Adrian McKinty Website

Adrian McKinty’s blog: The Psychopathology of Everyday Life

Serpent’s Tail

Seventh Street Books

Gun Street Girl de Adrian McKinty

Descripción del libro: Belfast, 1985. Trafico de armas en las fronteras, disturbios en las ciudades, The Power of Love se escucha en la radio. Y en medio de todo esto, en cierto sentido, se encuentra el detective inspector Sean Duffy, un policía católico en la hostil Real Policía del Ulster. Duffy permanece inicialmente frio ante el asesinato de una rica pareja, muerta a tiros mientras veía la televisión. Y cuando su problemático hijo se suicida, dejando una nota en la que da la impresión que asume la responsabilidad por los asesinatos, parece que el caso está cerrado. Pero hay algo que no cuadra, y la gente sigue muriendo. Pronto Duffy está sobre la pista de un misterio que lo enfrentará contra las oscuras fuerzas de inteligencia de los Estados Unidos, y le conducirá hasta el centro más candente del mayor escándalo político de la década. (Fuente: Serpent’s Tail, mi traducción libre)

Adrian McKinty retoma el personaje de Sean Duffy, el protagonista de su trilogía The Troubles (ver mis reseñas aquí, aquí y aquí).

Estamos en noviembre de 1985. Reagan es el presidente, Thatcher la primera ministra, Gorbachov ha tomado recientemente las riendas de la URSS. El álbum número uno en el país es Promise de Sade y la canción de amor de Jennifer Rush ‘The Power of Love’ se encuentra todavía encabezando la lista de éxitos, donde ha permanecido durante un desalentador período de tiempo … (mi traducción libre)

Como es su costumbre, McKinty utiliza personajes y casos reales sobre los que construye su ficción. El caso aquí gira en torno al asesinato de una pareja rica en extrañas circunstancias y el posterior suicidio de su hijo, el principal sospechoso. Pero lo que parece ser un caso sencillo, pronto se convertirá en algo mucho más complicado. En cualquier caso, la trama no es necesariamente la característica más sobresaliente de la novela, a pesar de que está bien estructurada y es interesante. En mi opinión lo que hace de este libro una experiencia sobresaliente es la calidad de la escritura, la complejidad de los personajes y la autenticidad del contexto en el que tiene lugar la historia. Además, es una lectura muy entretenida y, en ocasiones, con un buen sentido del humor. Muy recomendable.

Mi valoración: A+ (No se demore, consiga un ejemplar de este libro)

Adrian McKinty nació y creció en Irlanda del Norte. Estudió derecho, políticas y filosofía en la universidad. A principios de 1990 se trasladó a la ciudad de Nueva York donde trabajó en bares, librerías y en la construcción. Ahora vive en Melbourne, Australia. La primera novela de Sean Duffy Cold, Cold Ground (Alianza Editorial, 2013) ganó el Premio Spinetingler en el 2013, su secuela Oigo sirenas en la calle (Alianza Editorial, 2014), ganó el Premio Barry a la mejor novela de misterio (paperback original) en el 2014 y finalmente In The Morning I’ll Be Gone ganó el Premio Ned Kelly de 2014 a la mejor novela policíaca y fue incluida entre las 10 mejores novelas policíacas del 2014 por the American Library Association.

Álvaro Palacios, named “Man of the Year 2015″ by Decanter magazine

You can read the article here.

Among my favourite wines La Montesa (DOC Rioja), Pétalos del Bierzo (DO Bierzo) and Camins del Priorat (DOQ Priorat), all below 15 €.

In quite a different league you can find: 

Further reading:

OT: Juan Gil 12 Meses Silver Label 2012

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Quite an impressive wine, given its price range (below 10 €), before I have tasted Juan Gil 4 Meses 2013, my entry is here.

  • Winery: Bodegas Juan Gil & Gil Family Estates, Paraje de la Aragona, Carretera de Fuenteálamo, 30520 Jumilla (Murcia) Spain.
  • Phone: +34 968 435 022
  • Winemaker: Bartolomé Abellán
  • Website: www.bodegasjuangil.com/en  
  • Brand: Juan Gil 12 Meses 2012
  • DO: Jumilla
  • Type: Aged Red 15%. Aged 12 months French oak barrels
  • Grape Variety: 100% Monastrell (aka Mourvèdre) Grapes used to produce this wine come from old vineyards. This wine has been kept for 12 months in French oak barrels.
  • Vineyards: Grapes used to produce this wine come from old vineyards.
  • Soil Type: Chalky and stony soils, poor in nutrients, are ideal for the growing of the Monastrell variety, with a low yield of about 2.500 kg/Ha.
  • Bottle Size: 75.0 cl.
  • Price: A present, but the 2013 Vintage is available at Bodega Santa Cecilia 
  • My wine rating: 9.5/10

A great wine. It will improve in the bottle for the next 4-5 years. (Enterwine). Juan Gil 12 meses is an extraordinary red wine from the D.O. Jumilla (Decántalo)

This winery’s origins go back as far as 1916, when Juan Gil Giménez, great-grandfather of those currently working there, decided to enter into the world of wine. He then built a small winery at the very heart of Jumilla. His son, Juan Gil Guerrero, devoted his whole life to this company. But the person who truly consolidated the winery was his son, Juan Gil González, who, along with his brother Paco, forged an image of quality, efficiency, serious commitment and values which, coupled with a respect for tradition, form part of the purest philosophy at this winery, named after the two brothers. In order to adapt to market trends, the members of the Gil Vera family, the founder’s great-grandchildren, have constructed a new winery on the family’s land. It is located on the estate owned by the family in the municipality of Jumilla, about ten kilometres to the northwest of the city, in what is known as the Término de Arriba. More specifically, it can be found in the site called La Aragona, a place of great winemaking tradition for centuries. (Bodeboca)

Further reading: A hidden gem in Murcia, Spain – Monastrell