Excerpt from The Summer of Dead Toys by Antonio Hill, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Summer of Dead Toys

An Inspector Salgado Thriller

By Antonio Hill

The Summer of Dead Toys
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Jun 2013,
    368 pages.
    Paperback: May 2014,
    368 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

It's been a long time since I thought of Iris or the summer she died. I suppose I tried to forget it all, in the same way I overcame nightmares and childhood fears. And now, when I want to remember her, all that comes to mind is the last day, as if these images have erased all the previous ones. I close my eyes and bring myself to that big old house, this dormitory of deserted beds awaiting the arrival of the next group of children. I'm six years old, I'm at camp and I can't sleep because I'm scared. No, I lie. That very early morning I behaved like a brave boy: I disobeyed my uncle's rules and faced the darkness just to see Iris. But I found her drowned, floating in the pool, surrounded by a cortège of dead dolls.

WEDNESDAY
1

He turned off the alarm clock at the first buzz. Eight a.m. Although he'd been awake for hours a sudden heaviness overcame his limbs and he had to force himself to get out of bed and go to the shower. The stream of water cleared his sluggishness and along with it some of the effects of jet lag. He had arrived only hours before, after an interminable Buenos Aires–Barcelona flight which was prolonged further in the Lost Luggage office at the airport. The assistant, who had definitely been one of those sadistic British schoolmistresses in a previous life, consumed his last shred of patience, looking at him as if the suitcase were a being with free will and had opted to trade in this owner for one less moody-looking.

He dried himself vigorously and noticed with annoyance that sweat was already appearing on his brow: that was summer in Barcelona. Humid and sticky as a melted ice-cream. With the towel wrapped round his waist he looked at himself in the mirror. He should shave. Fuck it. He went back to the bedroom and rummaged in the half-empty wardrobe for some underwear. Luckily the clothes in the lost suitcase were winter ones, so he had no problems finding a short-sleeved shirt and trousers. Barefoot, he sat on the bed. He took a deep breath. The long journey was taking its toll and he was tempted to lie back down, close his eyes and forget about the meeting he had at ten o'clock sharp, although deep down he knew he was incapable of doing so. Héctor Salgado never missed a meeting. Even if it might be with his executioner, he said to himself and smiled ironically.

His right hand searched for his mobile phone on the nightstand. Very little battery life remained and he remembered that the charger was in the damn suitcase. The day before he'd felt too wrecked to speak to anyone. He looked up Ruth's number in the phonebook and stayed looking at the screen for a few seconds before pressing the green button. He always called her on her mobile, surely in an attempt to ignore the fact that she had another landline. Another house. Another partner. Her voice, somewhat hoarse, just awake, whispered in his ear:

"Héctor . . ."

"Did I wake you?"

"No . . . Well, a bit." He heard a stifled laugh in the background.

"But I had to get up anyway. When did you get back?"

"Sorry. I arrived yesterday morning, but those idiots lost my bag and I was in the airport for half the day. My mobile is about to run out of battery. I just wanted you to know that I'd arrived safely."

Suddenly he felt stupid. Like a child talking too much. "How was the flight?"

"Calm," he lied. "Listen, is Guillermo asleep?"

Ruth laughed.

"Your accent always changes when you come back from Buenos Aires. Guillermo's not here, didn't I tell you? He's spending a few days at the beach, at a friend's house. But I'm sure he'll be sleeping at this time," she added immediately.

"Yeah." A pause; lately their conversations stalled continually.

Excerpted from The Summer of Dead Toys by Antonio Hill. Copyright © 2013 by Antonio Hill. Excerpted by permission of Crown. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Mrs. Hemingway
    by Naomi Wood
    Naomi Wood's latest novel, Mrs. Hemingway, is a fictionalized biography covering in turn writer...
  • Book Jacket
    The Stranger on the Train
    by Abbie Taylor
    The opening chapter of Abbie Taylor's debut novel, The Stranger on the Train, took me right back to ...
  • Book Jacket
    Night Film
    by Marisha Pessl
    One of the central tenets of Hinduism states that the world as we know it is just an illusion –...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The City
by Dean Koontz

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  87Tomlinson Hill:
    Chris Tomlinson

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.