Inspector Hector Salgado is a transplanted Argentine living in Barcelona. While working on human trafficking case, Salgado's violent temper got the best of him and he beat a suspect within an inch of his life. Ordered on probation, he fled to Argentina to cool off for a few months.
Now he's back in Barcelona and is eager for another big case. But his boss has other plans. He assigns Salgado to a routine accidental death: a college student fell from a balcony in one of Barcelona's ritzier neighborhoods. As Salgado begins to piece together the life and world of the victim, he realizes that his death was not all that simple: his teenage friends are either overly paranoid or deceptively calm, and drugs might be involved. Hector begins to follow a trail that will lead him deep into the underbelly of Barcelona's high society where he'll come face-to-face with dangerous criminals, long-buried secrets, and, of course, his own past. But Hector thrives on pressure, and he lives for this kind of case - dark, violent, and seemingly unsolvable.
Gripping, sophisticated, and wickedly entertaining, The Summer of Dead Toys introduces a charismatic new detective and announces Antonio Hill as a new master of the crime thriller.
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 - from his debut novel The Summer of Dead Toys - is all of these rolled into one. (Reviewed by Donna Chavez).
Salgado's rich inner life and Hill's talents at plotting and prose bode well for a successful series.
Reminiscent of Ian Rankin's John Rebus or Jo Nesbø's Harry Hole, Héctor Salgado is an intriguing new sleuth that crime fiction fans will want to follow as they explore the gritty side of another European city.
Ending with a teaser for the next novel featuring Inspector Salgado, this book gets the series off to a great start.
The Times (UK)
The Independent (UK)
Hugely impressive. ... Hill's book seems to have arrived fully-formed with confidence and authority, peeling back the skeins of deceit and betrayal in a most satisfying fashion.
The Guardian (UK)
A welcome corrective to snow-blindness from too much Nordic noir ... Excellent characterization, a sympathetic and engaging protagonist, and plenty of plot twists, with a cliffhanger ending that sets things up nicely for the next in the series.
John Verdon, bestselling author of Let the Devil Sleep
This dark thriller is an amazing debut - acutely observed and meticulously crafted. Long live Hector Salgado - a thoroughly human detective-protagonist. I look forward to meeting him again.
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 don't, they are told the oath they took will kill them. This is how the girls become trapped; not with chains or bars but with the misuse of voodoo.
When the wife of a North Korean diplomat in Pakistan dies under suspicious circumstances, O is told to investigate, with a curious proviso: Dont look too closely at the details, and stay away from the question of missiles. Soon, however, the Inspector discovers he is up to his ears in missiles - and somebody wants him dead.
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Oldest romance writer in the world dies aged 105. Books #124 and #125 to be published next year(Dec 10 2013) Ida Pollock, author of more than 120 books, and believed to be the world's oldest romantic novelist, has died at the age of 105.