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 by Antonio Hill
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jun 2013, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2014, 368 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"Marvelous," continued Carmen. She was an avid fan of Grace Kelly, whom she was said to have resembled when she was young. "But don't try to distract me. How are you?"

He exhaled slowly and finished his coffee. The woman's gaze didn't falter: those blue eyes must have been true man-eaters. Carmen wasn't one of those old women who enjoy evoking the past, but thanks to Ruth, Héctor knew there had been at least two husbands ("easily forgotten, poor things," in Carmen's own words) and a lover ("a swine of the kind you don't forget"). But in the end there'd been one last one, who had secured her old age by leaving her that three-story building, in which she could live even better were she not saving one of the apartments for a son who'd left years before and never returned.

Héctor poured himself a little more coffee before answering. "I can't deceive you, Carmen." He tried to smile, but his exhausted expression and sad eyes ruined the effort. "Everything is shit. I beg your pardon. For a long time everything has seemed like shit."


Investigation 1231-R
H. Salgado
Resolution Pending

Three short lines noted in black felt-tip pen on a yellow post-it note attached to a file of the same color. So as not to see them, Superintendent Savall opened the file and looked over its contents. As if he didn't already know them by heart. Statements. Affidavit. Medical reports. Police brutality. Photographs of that scumbag's injuries. Photographs of that unfortunate young Nigerian girl. Photographs of the flat in the Raval where they had the girls corralled. Even various newspaper cuttings, some—very few, thank God—deliberately narrating their own version of the facts, emphasizing concepts like injustice, racism and abuse of power. He slammed the file shut and looked at the clock on his desk. Ten past nine. Fifty minutes. He was moving his chair back to stretch out his legs when someone knocked on the door and opened it almost simultaneously.

"Is he here?" he asked.

The woman entering the office shook her head without asking to whom the question referred and, very quietly, leaned both hands on the back of the chair facing the desk. She looked him in the eyes and spoke.

"What will you say to him?" The question sounded like an accusation, a burst of gunfire in six words.

Savall shrugged his shoulders, almost imperceptibly. "What I have to. What do you want me to say to him?"

"Fine. Great."

"Martina . . ." He tried to be brusque, but he was too fond of her to get truly angry. He lowered his voice. "Fuck it, my hands are tied."

She didn't give up. She moved the chair back a little, sat down and drew it back up to the desk.

"What else do they need? That guy is out of hospital. He's at home, cool as can be, reorganizing his business while—"

"Give it a rest, Martina!" Sweat broke out on his forehead and for once he lost his temper. He'd promised himself he wouldn't when he got up that morning. But he was human. He opened the yellow file and took out the photos; he scattered them across the desk like uncovered playing cards showing a poker of aces. "Broken jaw. Two fractured ribs. Contusions to the skull and abdomen. A face like a fucking map. All because Héctor lost his head and planted himself in this shit's house. The guy was lucky not to have internal injuries. He beat him half to death." She knew all this. She also knew that had she been sitting in the chair opposite, she would have said exactly the same. But if there was something that defined Sergeant Martina Andreu it was her unswerving loyalty to her own: her family, her colleagues and her friends. For her the world was split into two distinct groups: her people, and everyone else, and without doubt Héctor Salgado fell into the first. So, in a loud and deliberately disdainful voice, one that irritated her boss more than seeing those photos, she counterattacked.

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!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Force
    The Force
    by Don Winslow
    Intense! That's the word. Winslow's The Force rips through its four hundred pages with the...
  • Book Jacket: Shadow Man
    Shadow Man
    by Alan Drew
    Alan Drew's debut novel, Gardens of Water, was an ambitious work of literary fiction set amid ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Noise of Time
    by Julian Barnes
    Confession: I do two terrible – some say unforgivable – things while reading a book. First...

Win this book!
Win The Library of Light and Shadow

The Library of Light and Shadow by M.J. Rose

"Possibly her best yet. A sensuous, sumptuous, and spellbinding novel." - Kirkus Reviews

Enter

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Almost Sisters
    by Joshilyn Jackson

    A powerful, emotionally resonant novel of the South.
    Reader Reviews

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T H Are B T O

and be entered to win..

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

A funny and acutely perceptive debut about four siblings and the fate of their shared inheritance.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

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

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.