The Good Suicides
By: Antonio Hill
Format/Source: Advanced reading copy courtesy of Random House Canada via GoodReads First Reads programme
Young, free and . . . dead.
Senior staff at Alemany Cosmetics company come home with a secret after a team-building course in a remote country house. Now, they are committing suicide, one by one. Soon, they may all be dead. Each has received a photo from an anonymous source of three dogs hanging dead from a tree near the house.
Deciphering the personalities of these high-earning executives and their power structure, Inspector Salgado has his own way of making them speak. But Barcelona is now freezing cold and the city is hunkering against an unusually cold spell. Can Salgado break the ice before it’s too late?
I first heard about this author and his Inspector Salgado series through GoodReads as they have been slowly coming out here in North America in the past year or so. I guess the part that intrigued me the most was that the setting was in Barcelona (intriguing city). The Good Suicides is the second novel featuring Inspector Salgado and the premise sounds very chilling. This book will be available on 17 June 2014
This book is part of the Everything Espana Reading Challenge 2014 that I am participating in.
It took a chapter or two to orient me to the story–the first chapter was especially chilling, setting up the mystery of the overall story–but once the story and the characters were introduced, I couldn’t quite put it down. There’s so much mystery behind all of the characters involved and surrounding all of the apparent suicides: who is behind it all? What are they hiding? How long before they crack? What’s at stake here?
All of the suspects involved have very fleshed-out back stories and home lives to accompany the mystery, as well as inspectors Hector Salgado and Leire Castro. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t read often from the crime mystery genre but it’s been a pleasant surprise to read many of these inspector mystery novels with really nuanced back stories to their main characters; yes, they’re all pretty morose characters with sad backgrounds–and Hector Salgado definitely has a very terse demeanor–but it’s interesting to see how their home lives or their character histories affect the way they solve their cases. Hector had my attention when he sort of one-ups all of the suspects in the room at one point; it was one of those “Oh, snap!” moments and I couldn’t help but chuckle along with his moment of victory over the others. Leire was also very interesting because she chose to continue investigating a case while preparing for the birth of her child.
There are some events in this novel that carries on from the first Inspector Salgado novel, The Summer of Dead Toys, but the narrative has a good way of bringing the reader up to speed if he or she is not familiar with the events. It’s also important because it directly ties in to Hector Salgado’s character.
The Good Suicides overall was an interesting mystery, quite chilling with the images it evokes and with a cliffhanger of sorts that has me wondering what’s next for Inspector Salgado and that one particular case that’s more or less ongoing (whether the characters realise it or not). If you’re a reader of mystery novels, you’ll want to check this novel out.