Month: October 2015

Review: The Big Bounce by Elmore Leonard

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Phoenix an imprint of Orion Books Ltd., 2009. Book format: Paperback edition. First published in 1969. ISBN: 978 0 7538 2245 6. Pages: 240.

isbn9780753822456I’m afraid I’ve arrived late this month to Crimes of the Century, a meme hosted by Rich Westwood at Past Offences. The year under review this month was #1969.   

The Big Bounce was Elmore Leonard’s first crime novel – or, more accurately, his first contemporaneously set novel. Up to this point in his career, Leonard had published only westerns – novels and short stories – pretty successfully in the 1950s, with two of them, 3:10 to Yuma and The Tall T (alias The Captives) – …. – being made into films in 1957.’ (Source: Existential Ennui)

The Big Bounce had a rather difficult inception. Leonard begun offering his book to publishers and film producers in the fall of 1966. It was turned down eighty-four times and was finally published only after being adapted first to the big screen in 1969. The film, by the way, was a box-office disaster. The book went unnoticed until the 1990s, when Leonard gained a new generation of fans thanks to praise from filmmaker Barry Sonnenfeld and a successful film adaptation of his novel Get Shorty. In 2004, The Big Bounce was brought to the big screen once again and had also a very poor reception both by public as by critic. (Source: Wikipedia here and Existential Ennui here)

The story is set at The Thumb and narrates the story of Jack Ryan and Nancy Hayes. It begins when, Jack Ryan, an ex baseball player and petty thief, beats up Luis Camacho, his crew leader, with a softball bat (see the difference between bats here) and loses his job at a migrant camp. The camp manager, Bob Rogers Jr., requires him to leave. The farm belongs to Ritchie Foods, Inc. Geneva Beach, Michigan and Bob Jr. fears someone, in revenge, might kill him and the farm cannot afford the luxury of losing days at harvest time, while a criminal investigation is in progress. However, Jack Ryan manages to get a second chance to remain there when Mr. Majestyk, the justice of the peace from Geneva Beach, offers him a job as handyman at a holiday resort that he owns. There, Jack Ryan comes across Nancy Hayes, a beautiful woman but completely wild, She’s profoundly amoral and without any sort of scruples, and she likes to play the role of femme fatal. She has her expenses paid by a millionaire named Ray Ritchie, the owner of Ritchie Foods, but she cheats him with Bob Rogers Jr. To beat her boredom, Nancy enjoys throwing stones to houses smashing windows. When Nancy finds out Jack’s past, of thefts and burglary, she persuades him to stealing 50,000 USD, a large quantity at the time, from her millionaire friend Ray Ritchie. Jack can’t figure out the kind of deadly game that she has in mind.

I really enjoyed The Big Bounce. It has a magnificent prose, very well drawn characters and splendid dialogues. It is also a book difficult to classify, for me is an excellent example of noir fiction. Certainly, I fail to understand some of the poor reviews it has received, maybe because it has an ending that has not been of the taste of many readers. I really believe this is a very literary book filled with real characters, that only lacks some sense of humour to be considered a masterpiece. I’m positive this will not be the last book by Elmore Leonard that I’m going to read. Stay tuned.

My rating: A (I loved it)

Elmore John Leonard lived in Dallas, Oklahoma City and Memphis before settling in Detroit in 1935. After serving in the navy, he studied English literature at the University of Detroit where he entered a short story competition. His earliest published novels in the 1950s were westerns, but Leonard went on to specialize in crime fiction and suspense thrillers, many of which have been adapted into motion pictures.

Existential Ennui

The Orion Publishing Group

Over Drive Books

HarperCollinsPublishers

The Big Bounce de Elmore Leonard

Me temo que he llegado tarde este mes a Crimes of the Century, un meme organizado por Rich Westwood en Past Offences. El año en consideración este mes era #1969.

‘”The Big Bounce fue la primera novela criminal de Elmore Leonard o, más exactamente, su primera novela ambientada en la época presente. Hasta este momento de su carrera, Leonard había publicado solamente novelas del oeste – novelas y cuentos – con bastante éxito en la década de los 50, con dos de ellas, El tren de las 3:10 (título original: 3,10 to Yuma) y Los cautivos (título orginal: The Tall T)- …. – Llevadas al cine en 1957.” (Fuente: Existencial Ennui)

The Big Bounce tuvo unos comienzos bastante difíciles. Leonard empezó a ofrecer su libro a editores y productores de cine en el otoño de 1966. Fue rechazado ochenta y cuatro veces y fue publicado finalmente sólo después de haber sido adaptado por primera vez a la pantalla grande en 1969. La película, por cierto, fue un desastre de taquilla. El libro pasó desapercibido hasta que en la década de 1990, cuando Leonard consiguó una nueva generación de fans gracias a los elogios del cineasta Barry Sonnenfeld y al éxito de la adaptación al cine de su novela Get Shorty. En el 2004, The Big Bounce fue llevada de nuevo a la gran pantalla y tuvo otra vez una muy mala acogida tanto por parte del público como de la crítica. (Fuente: Wikipedia aquí y Existencial Ennui aquí).

La historia está ambientada en The Thumb y narra la historia de Jack Ryan y Nancy Hayes. Comienza cuando, Jack Ryan, un ex jugador de béisbol y un ladrón de poca monta, golpea a Luis Camacho, su jefe de equipo, con un bate de softbol (ver la diferencia entre clases de bates aquí) y pierde su trabajo en un campo de inmigrantes. El director del campo, Bob Rogers Jr., le obliga a marcharse. La finca pertenece a Ritchie Foods, Inc. Geneva Beach, Michigan y Bob Jr. teme que alguien, en venganza, podría matarlo y la finca no puede permitirse el lujo de perder días en época de cosecha, mientras que está en marcha una investigación criminal. Sin embargo, Jack Ryan se las arregla para conseguir una segunda oportunidad para permanecer allí cuando el Sr. Majestyk, el juez de paz de Geneva Beach, le ofrece trabajo como personal de mantenimiento en un centro turístico que posee. Allí, Jack Ryan se encuentra con Nancy Hayes, una mujer hermosa pero completamente salvaje, Ella es profundamente amoral y sin ningún tipo de escrúpulos, y le gusta hacer el papel de femme fatal. Tiene sus gastos pagados por un millonario llamado Ray Ritchie, el dueño de Ritchie Foods, pero ella lo engaña con Bob Rogers Jr. Para vencer su aburrimiento, Nancy disfruta lanzando piedras a las casas rompiendo ventanas. Cuando Nancy descubre el pasado de Jack, de hurtos y robos, lo convence para robar 50.000 dólares, una gran cantidad en aquel momento, de su amigo el millonario Ray Ritchie. Jack no consigue darse cuenta de la clase de juego mortal que ella tiene en mente.

Me gustó mucho The Big Bounce. Tiene una magnífica prosa, personajes muy bien dibujados y espléndidos diálogos. También es un libro difícil de clasificar, para mí es un excelente ejemplo de “noir”. Ciertamente, no alcanzo a comprender algunas de las malas críticas que ha recibido, tal vez porque tiene un final que no ha sido del agrado de muchos lectores. Realmente creo que este es un libro muy literario lleno de personajes reales, que sólo le falta un poco de sentido del humor para ser considerado una obra maestra. Estoy seguro de que no será el último libro de Elmore Leonard que voy a leer. Manténganse en sintonía.

Mi valoración: A (Me encantó)

Elmore Leonard John vivió en Dallas, Oklahoma City y Memphis antes de establecerse en Detroit en 1935. Después de servir en la marina, estudió literatura Inglesa en la Universidad de Detroit, donde participó en un concurso de cuentos. Sus primeras novelas publicadas en la década de 1950 fueron del oeste,  pero Leonard pasó a especializarse en novela negra y thrillers, muchas de ellas han sido adaptadas al cine.

OT: Edvard Munch: Archetypes

20151030_095233

The Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, with the generous collaboration of the Munch Museum in Oslo, is hosting Edvard Munch: Archetypes, the first exhibition to be held on the Norwegian artist in Madrid since 1984. The show brings together a selection of eighty works that examine the painter’s long and prolific career and reveal his ability to synthesize the obsessions of modern humanity.

Curated by Paloma Alarcó and Jon-Ove Steinaug, reviews a wide spectrum of emotional archetypes through which Munch reveals various existential obsessions such as love, desire, jealousy, angst and death, and states of mind including melancholy, passion and submission.

Each section of the exhibition is structured around these archetypes, laid bare in the representation of the human figure in various settings: the seaside, the sick-room, the “green room”, the woods, the night and the artist studio. It combines early works with late versions and paintings with graphic works so as to underscore the thematic and existential circularity of Munch’s oeuvre.

Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, from 06 October 2015 to 17 January 2016.

Virtual visit

Leaf through the exhibition

(Source: MUSEO THYSSEN-BORNEMISZA)

Yesterday, Begoña and I had the opportunity to visit this exhibition. Highly recommended.

Edvard Munch entry at Wikipedia

www.edvardmunch.org

Film Notes: Far From Men (2014) directed by David Oelhoffen

FR /110 minutes / color /One World Films, Pathe Production, Perceval Pictures, Kaleo Films Dir: David Oelhoffen Pro: Marc Du Pontavice & Matthew Gledhill Scr: written by David Oelhoffen, loosely based on The Guest by Albert Camus (Gallimard, 1957) Cine: Guillaume Deffontaines Film Editor: Juliette Welfling Mus: Nick Cave & Warren Ellis Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Reda Kateb, Nicolas Giraud Release Date (Venice) 31 August 2014 (Spain) 2 October 2015 Original title: Loin des hommes Spanish titleLejos de los hombres

Loin_des_hommes_Far_From_Men-341712834-large Begoña and I have had the opportunity to see Far From Men (Original title: Loin des hommes) a few days ago. A highly interesting film that I enjoyed thoroughly. It has an aesthetic similar to a Western, is very well shot, and has a slow pace that has seemed to me very appropriate to the topic at hand. The story, loosely based on a short story by Albert Camus, unfolds in Algeria in 1954, the first year of the appearance of the FLN. Daru (Viggo Mortensen) is in charge of a school in a rural community set among the High Plateau region and teaches French to a handful of children from the nearby village. The story begins when a local police, arrives at his school with a prisoner. The policeman, given the present political turmoil in the area, can’t afford to spare his resources to bring him for trial in the nearest city. And Daru, reluctantly, is forced to take charge of the prisoner and hand him over to the local authorities there. The man arrested is a local shepherd called Mohamed (Reda Kateb) who is accused of killing his cousin. The film narrates the story of this trip. It is worth to highlight almost every aspect of this film, the performance of the actors, the location of the scenes that were shot outdoors in Morocco, and a superb soundtrack.

Director’s Statement

From my very first reading of Camus’ short story “The Guest”, I visualized a Western. Admittedly, an unconventional Western, being steeped in European history and set against the backdrop of the North African highlands, but a Western all the same. True to the genre, there are colonizers and the colonized, a prisoner to be escorted, and a plot that spirals into violence. A collision between two systems of law is at the heart of the story and its character relationships. We bear witness to two cultures and two moralities forced into co-existence by history. I had dreamed of bringing Viggo Mortensen on board; his singularity made him the perfect fit for the role of Daru. Reda Kateb – mysterious and earthy provided the perfect counterpoint as Mohamed. The desert landscape takes on the role of an additional character in the story. The radiant North African light was a beautiful but unpredictable companion for the film.

“The Guest”, by Albert Camus is a stunning text. This short story of 13 pages focuses on one night and three characters: Daru, a schoolteacher; Balducci, a gendarme; and Mohamed, a young Algerian prisoner who has killed his cousin. Overwhelmed by the beginnings of a national insurrection, the gendarme hands the prisoner over to Daru, ordering him to escort Mohamed to the nearest town to be tried for his crime.

Daru is happy in his school on the high plateau, cut off from the world. He tries to save this young villager, despite his crime, at the risk of compromising his position and everything that is important in his life, because he cannot countenance abandoning another man to certain execution by the French. He accompanies Mohamed and offers him a chance to flee; but the prisoner insists on turning himself in to the local authorities. Upon his return to the school, Daru finds a message written on the blackboard that says he will pay for handing Mohamed to the police.

Adapting this story for the cinema meant filling out the characters and providing greater density to the narrative. One of the ways this was done was by including the Algerian context and the start of the war for independence. But the biggest change was altering the nature of the relationship between Daru and the young Algerian, which resulted in a distinctly different ending to Camus’s story.

I moved away from the letter of the text, but always with the idea of remaining close to the spirit of Camus, whose concerns seem very current to me: concerns about humanity, the denunciation of injustice, and above all, the difficulty of moral engagement and judgment.

Daru’s trajectory is still that of a man who wants to save another, despite him being a criminal, but I wanted to intensify the energy Daru expends to convince the prisoner not to obey the blood feud laws of his community, nor to hand himself over to the equally unjust law of the colonizers. I also imagined a more tortured and battered character than in the original, a man who had been through the Second World War and wanted to flee violence, a man burdened with grief which pushes him to isolate himself. And lastly, a man with a painful identity: the son of Spaniards, he is a European and seen as such by the Arab villagers, but he has not forgotten that a generation ago, his Andalusian parents were considered as “Arabs” by the French settlers of Algeria.

For Mohamed, above all, I didn’t want the character to remain the figure of the disturbing Arab throughout the film, mysterious and opaque as he is in the original story, but rather a man who has his reasons, his own moral compass, and who gradually opens up to what Daru is proposing – the possibility of acting for himself, as an individual.

Where Camus had two men hermetically sealed off from each other, two alien worlds that are irreconcilable, I tried to have a bond develop between them, a sort of understanding, which ends up being what saves them both.

Camus’s story was written in July 1954, a few months before the outbreak of the Algerian War. It’s a text written by a man who senses that war is on its way, but who doesn’t talk about it directly.

Adapting it today, more than 50 years later, I wanted to plunge these two characters into the chaos of a nascent war (in this case, right after the “Toussaint Rouge” attacks in November, 1954), and to immerse them in a situation where the survival instinct takes primacy.

Daru’s journey also became that of a man who opens his eyes to the world in which he grew up, and who suddenly feels the pointlessness and compromising aspect of his presence at the isolated school, sensing the violence that’s sure to come to this mountain outpost. It is time for him to go, for reasons both personal and that involve the wider sweep of history.

To save the young villager Mohamed, Daru sacrifices his place on the plateau, but it’s not a blind sacrifice. Thanks to this young man, something reawakens in him; a will to live, to love, a need to return to the world he originally came from.

* * *
The initial images that came to mind, inspired by the situations and landscapes in the story, are those of a Western: expansive and hostile nature, danger, tension, and men swinging between dignity and savagery, tearing themselves between a craving for life and a craving for death.

I also saw the central figures of the Western: that of the white man bringing civilization and the embodiment of law and order, and of his counterpart, the “savage” tribal figure. This leads to a questioning of how we see the “ other ”, the outsider, the “uncivilised” Arab, through the mechanisms of fiction, action, and emotional responses. The founding myth which is hidden behind Far From Men is obviously not the American myth of the conquest of the West. Daru is a teacher, a missionary, a civilizing influence. He is also inevitably the bearer of a myth, that of French universalism, the conquest of the world by European values, with all that brings in terms of contradictions – just as the American myth does.

In Far From Men, I see a film that is closer to a humanist Western than a historical film. It belongs to that family of Westerns which attacked or subverted the myth, rather than magnifying it, as a distant reference; the pro-Indian Westerns of the 1950s like Devil’s Doorway by Anthony Mann and The Big Sky by Howard Hawks, for example, or, later on, some of the films of Arthur Penn, Sydney Pollack and Clint Eastwood.

Since I thought the story was universal, I imagined someone like Viggo Mortensen in the role of Daru in an abstract way, as if to force myself from the outset to move away from a simple exploration of an episode in French history. He is a chameleon-like actor with multiple identities, and, to my mind, perfect in terms of his intensity and his internalized approach. I knew that he spoke fluent Spanish, but at the time I didn’t know he also spoke French.

Once we found that out, we offered him the role. He liked the script. When we met, I saw the character of Daru appear before my eyes. His French is perfect.

His multiple identities melded with that of Daru. And beyond his qualities as an actor, no one could better convey the universal dimension of this story and its affiliation with the Western than him.

For the role of Mohamed, Reda Kateb had been attached to the project for a long time. While Viggo Mortensen had to make a considerable effort to learn Arabic, Reda Kateb had to do huge preparatory work, both physically and linguistically, to master the rural Algerian dialect of the west of the High Plateaus, and to reproduce the credible French of a shepherd who never went to school, which he meticulously put together.

* * *
The shoot took place on the Moroccan side of the Atlas Mountains, a vast, rugged backdrop. With the exception of the school sequences at the start of the film, we filmed outdoors in natural locations, using mainly natural light, as agreed on with the director of photography, Guillaume Deffontaines. The story lent itself to this treatment, with many scenes taking place at dawn or dusk.

During editing, Juliette Welfling and I wanted to keep the film in a state of tension, with a fairly slow pace broken by occasional surges of action and emotion, moments of rupture like the attack on the school.

The music was composed by Nick Cave and Warren Ellis, who were terrific to work with. They always tried to go with the film’s flow, and created an original soundtrack which goes gradually from a dark, brooding atmosphere at the start to more melodic pieces as the intimate aspect wins out over the survival instinct. David Oelhoffen – August 2014 (Source: Tribeca Films)

Nick Cave and Warren Ellis original score

We read the script for Far From Men and immediately signed on.

David discussed what aspects of our music he liked, then left the ball in our court. For the score, we decided that it should mirror the developing relationship between Daru,
Mohamed, and the broad landscapes.

Melodies are sparse in the beginning, and develop from atmospheric ambiences built around wind and electronic textures. Strings are gradually introduced as the story unfolds.
Thankfully David wasn’t looking for local music, as genre music is not something we do.

From the outset it was wonderful to be working with a director with a strong vision, and with a totally sympathetic and encouraging production team. Not always the case in this domain.

It was an honor to be involved. Nick Cave and Warren Ellis (Source: Tribeca Films)

See the film review at The Hollywood Reporter, with which I’m not totally in agreement.

Official website

Review: Someone Else’s Skin by Sarah Hilary

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

Headline, 2014. Format: Kindle Edition. File Size: 1372 KB. Print Length: 434 pages.  ASIN: B00F0LV0OO eISBN: 978 1 4722 0771 5.

A Book for Maxine: Someone Else’s Skin by Sarah Hilary

To Maxine Clarke (1954-2012) in Memoriam

With my sincere thanks to Margot Kinberg, at Confessions of a Mystery Novelist…., and Bill Selnes, at Mysteries and More from Saskatchewan for their initiative to convene this second edition of ‘A Great Book Recommendation’ to honour the memory of Maxine Clarke. Our contributions are posted at Petrona Remembered

This review will also appear at Petrona Remembered (www.petronaremembered.com)

isbn9781472207692

When Detective Inspector Marnie Rome and Detective Sergeant Noah Jake arrive at a care centre for battered women in Finchley, they thought they were going to interview one of the residents aiming to convince her to press charges against her family. Instead, they find a man who was not supposed to be there, stabbed on the floor. Next to him, a woman holds in her hand an ordinary kitchen knife.

DI Rome manages to keep the situation under control, while the prompt response of DS Jake saves the live of the wounded with the help of Ayana Mirza, the woman to whom they had come to question. The man turns out to be Leo Proctor and the woman who has stabbed him, his wife Hope. It’s hard to believed how a woman like Hope has been able to put a knife into her husband’s lung, but according to Simone Bissell, one of the women under protection there, he had beaten her so many times that Hope can’t see straight any more. She didn’t even know what she was doing with that knife.

Parked outside the foster home, an unknown man keeps a close watch on the entrance.

Inside the shelter house, only five women have witnessed what really has happened. All of them have been victims of gender-based violence. DI Rome thinks it will be better to wait, under the present circumstances. before collecting their statement.  She knows she needs to find out how Leo got in and how he was able to discover the whereabouts of  her wife, but first it’s necessary for every woman to feel safe again.

Meanwhile DS Jake can’t forget the reason they’d come here. Ayana had been attacked by her own brothers. While two were holding her down, a third one sprayed her with bleach all across her face. She finally managed to escape and, in the hospital, the surgeons achieved to save her right eye but the vision of her left eye was lost forever. The CPS believes her witness statement would help to put her brother Nasif Mirza behind bars, but so far she’d kept quiet about what her brothers did.

Once at the hospital where Leo was admitted, his wife Hope is also examined by a doctor that claims that, although he has seen worst cases, she has the sort of injuries one can expect to see in someone who has kept a sadomasochistic relationship.

The same man, whom we had seen before watching over the front door of the foster home, is parked now in the vicinity of the hospital.

The story takes an unexpected turn when Hope runs away from the hospital with the assistance of her friend Simone and Ayana, all of a sudden, disappears.

Someone Else’s Skin has a strong narrative vigour and a well constructed plot. The story is told from the point of view of various characters, has several subplots, and occasionally the events transport us to a few years back. The book covers also a wide range of issues, mainly the manipulation to which some individuals are subject, and the control that some persons exercise on other people. It also addresses other matters, closely related, such as domestic abuses, gender-based violence, and female genital mutilation, with great rigour and effectively. Secrets and lies play an important role, and things aren’t always what they seem. It’s, after all, a modern novel that does not hesitate to tackle any matter, however difficult it is. Therefore it’s no surprising that Sarah Hillary’s debut novel, Someone Else’s Skin, was awarded the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year in 2015. And I look forward to reading her second book in the series No Other Darkness. If I had to point any flaw, perhaps I should highlight that it tries to encompass far too many themes that might be addressed in other novels.

My rating: A (I loved it)

Sarah Hilary lives in Bath with her daughter, where she writes quirky copy for a well-loved travel publisher. She’s also worked as a bookseller, and with the Royal Navy. An award-winning short story writer, Sarah won the Cheshire Prize for Literature in 2012. Her debut novel Someone Else’s Skin was selected as a Richard & Judy Autumn 2014 Book Club pick and won the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award 2015. No Other Darkness is the brilliant follow-up to her outstanding debut. Her third novel, Tastes Like Fear is scheduled to be published in April 2016 by Headline Publishing Group, an Hachette UK Company.

For more information have a look at Sarah Hilary’s website: www.sarahhilary.com; or follow Sarah on Twitter at @Sarah_Hilary and on Facebook at Sarah Hilary.

Someone Else’s Skin has been reviewed by Sarah at Crime Pieces, Michelle Peckham at Euro Crime, DeathBecomesHer at Crime Fiction Lover, Barry Forshaw at Crime Time, Sharon Mensing at Reviewing the evidence, Cleo at Cleopatra Loves Books,

Headline

Penguin Random House 

9mm: An Interview with Sarah Hilary at Crime Watch 

What’s Your First Draft Like? – Sarah Hilary by Rebecca Bradley

Sarah Hilary Space at Blogspot

Gregory & Company

Un libro para Maxine: La piel de otro de Sarah Hilary

Para Maxine Clarke (1954-2012) in Memoriam

Con mi más sincero agradecimiento a Margot Kinberg, en Confessions of a Mystery Novelist…., y a Bill Selnes en Mysteries and More from Saskatchewan por su iniciativa al convocar esta segunda edición de ‘A Great Book Recommendation’ para honrar la memoria de Maxine Clarke. Nuestras contribuciones se publicarán en Petrona Remembered.

Esta reseña también aparecerá en Petrona Remembered (www.petronaremembered.com)

Cuando la inspectora Marnie Rome y el sargento Noah Jake llegan a un centro de atención para mujeres maltratadas en Finchley, pensaban que iban a entrevistar a una de las residentes con el objetivo de convencerla para presentar cargos contra su familia. En su lugar, se encuentran con un hombre que no se suponía que debía estar allí, apuñalado en el suelo. A su lado, una mujer sostiene en su mano un cuchillo de cocina común y corriente.

La inspectora Rome se las arregla para mantener la situación bajo control, mientras que la pronta respuesta del sargento Jake salva la vida del herido con la ayuda de Ayana Mirza, la mujer a la que habían ido a interrogar. El hombre resulta ser Leo Proctor y la mujer que lo ha apuñalado, su esposa Hope. Resulta difícil creer cómo una mujer como Hope ha sido capaz de introducir el cuchillo en el pulmón de su marido, pero de acuredo con Simone Bissell, una de las mujeres bajo protección allí, él la había golpeado tantas veces que Hope ya no puede discernir con claridad. Ella ni siquiera sabía lo que estaba haciendo con ese cuchillo.

Estacionado fuera de la casa de acogida, un desconocido mantiene una estrecha vigilancia sobre la entrada.

Dentro de la casa refugio, sólo cinco mujeres han sido testigos de lo que realmente ha sucedido. Todas ellas han sido víctimas de violencia de género. La inspectora Rome piensa que será mejor esperar, en las actuales circunstancias, antes de tomarlas declaración. Sabe que tiene que averiguar cómo Leo entró y cómo fue capaz de descubrir el paradero de su esposa, pero primero es necesario que cada mujer se sienta segura de nuevo.

Mientras tanto el sargento Jake no puede olvidar la razón por la que habían acudido alli. Ayana Mirza había sido atacada por sus propios hermanos. Mientras que dos estaban sujetándola, un tercero le roció con lejía en toda su cara. Finalmente logró escapar y, en el hospital, los cirujanos lograron salvar su ojo derecho, pero la visión de su ojo izquierdo se perdió para siempre. El CPS cree que su testimonio ayudaría a poner a su hermano Nasif Mirza entre rejas, pero hasta ahora había mantenido silencio sobre lo que sus hermanos le habían hecho.

Una vez en el hospital donde fue internado Leo, su esposa Hope también es examinada por un médico que afirma que, a pesar de que ha visto casos peores, ella tiene el tipo de lesiones que uno puede esperar ver en alguien que ha mantenido una relación sadomasoquista.

El mismo hombre, a quien habíamos visto antes vigilando la puerta principal de la casa de acogida, está estacionado ahora en las proximidades del hospital.

La historia toma un giro inesperado cuando Hope huye del hospital con la ayuda de su amiga Simone y Ayana, de repente, desaparece.

La piel de otro tiene un fuerte vigor narrativo y una trama bien construida. La historia está contada desde el punto de vista de varios personajes, tiene varias subtramas, y en ocasiones los acontecimientos nos transportan a unos años atrás. El libro abarca también una amplia gama de temas, principalmente la manipulación a la que algunos individuos están sujetos, y el control que algunas personas ejercen sobre otras. También se ocupa de otras cuestiones, estrechamente relacionadas, como los abusos domésticos, la violencia de género y la mutilación genital femenina, con gran rigor y eficacia. Secretos y mentiras juegan un papel importante, y las cosas no son siempre lo que parecen. Es, después de todo, una novela moderna, que no duda en abordar cualquier asunto, por difícil que sea. Por lo tanto no es de extrañar que la novela debut de Sarah Hillary, La piel de otro , fuera galardonada con el Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel del año 2015. Y espero con interés la lectura del segundo libro de su serie No Other Darkness. Si tuviera que destacar algun defecto, tal vez debería resaltar que pretende abarcar demasiados temas que podrían ser tratados en otras novelas.

Mi valoración: A (Me encantó)

Sarah Hilary vive en Bath con su hija, donde escribe textos poco convencionales para una conocida editorial de viajes. También ha trabajado en una librería, y con la Royal Navy. Una galardonada escritora de relatos cortos, Sarah ganó el Premio Cheshire de Literatura en el 2012. Su primera novela Someone Else’s Skin fue seleccionada como el libro elegido por el Club Richard & Judy en el otoño de 2014 y ganó el Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel del año 2015. No Other Darkness es la brillante continuación de su excepcional debut y su tercera novela, Tastes Like Fear, tiene prevista su aparacición en abril de 2016 publicada por Headline Publishing Group, una compañía del grupo Hachette en el Reino Unido.