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 to laugh at ...
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