Like the titillating glimmer in the eye of a handsome stranger, a book that makes me laugh on its first page promises pleasures untold. I've been known to be a sucker for both. What's more I've also been known to swoon over well crafted, flawed, quirky or wicked-smart protagonists. And Antonio Hill's Inspector Hector Salgado - in The Summer of Dead Toys
- is all of these rolled into one.
That he's handsome is something I'm taking on faith in the one woman he beds, a woman whom maybe he shouldn't have. And the titillating glimmer? It comes from depth of character. His is born of sadness over a marriage broken up because
well, he's not entirely certain why his wife Ruth left him. She's got custody of his son Guillermo and Hector grieves this loss perhaps more than the shattered marriage. This is one of many life events that have humbled him; made him able, if not...
Beyond the Book
June 13, 2013 headline in The Daily Mail
: "Six arrested over voodoo prostitution ring in Nigeria after gang branded women with irons then forced them to sell sex."
It appears that Antonio Hill's novel The Summer of Dead Toys
could not be more timely in its depiction of sex traffickers in Spain preying on young Nigerian girls. Young girls, virtually children, are lured with promises of proper jobs as nannies, au pairs, and maids to work for wealthy European families. They come from hardscrabble existences, both from cities and rural areas, where money and education are scarce. They come from places where the belief in voodoo is as devout as it is common. They participate in "voodoo ceremonies" in which they promise to repay their travel debt, and if they...