Summary and book reviews of The Summer of Dead Toys by Antonio Hill

The Summer of Dead Toys

An Inspector Salgado Thriller

by Antonio Hill

The Summer of Dead Toys
  • 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

Book Summary

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.

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.

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 ...

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!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

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).

Full Review Members Only (691 words).

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Salgado's rich inner life and Hill's talents at plotting and prose bode well for a successful series.

Library Journal

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.

Kirkus Reviews

Ending with a teaser for the next novel featuring Inspector Salgado, this book gets the series off to a great start.

The Times (UK)

Entertaining.

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.

Author Blurb 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.

Reader Reviews

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!

Beyond the Book

West African Religions: Voodoo & Juju

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 ...

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!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked The Summer of Dead Toys, try these:

  • Redemption Road jacket

    Redemption Road

    by John Hart

    Published 2016

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Over 2 million copies of his books in print. The first and only author to win back-to-back Edgars for Best Novel. Every book a New York Times bestseller. After five years, John Hart is back.

  • The Frozen Dead jacket

    The Frozen Dead

    by Bernard Minier

    Published 2015

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    Saint-Martin-de-Comminges is a small town nestled in the French Pyrenees. The kind of place where winters are harsh and unforgiving and where nothing ever happens. Until the winter morning when a group of workers discover the headless, flayed body of a horse, hanging suspended from the edge of a frozen cliff.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
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
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Do No Harm
    by Henry Marsh
    British neurosurgeon Henry Marsh might already be familiar as the subject of the Emmy-winning ...
  • Book Jacket: Everybody's Fool
    Everybody's Fool
    by Richard Russo
    Written from multiple viewpoints, Everybody's Fool features an ensemble cast of inhabitants ...
  • Book Jacket: The Strings of Murder
    The Strings of Murder
    by Oscar de Muriel
    As Jack the Ripper eludes the police at Scotland Yard in London and all efforts to catch the most ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Life of the World to Come
    by Dan Cluchey

    Smart, sad and crackling with wit, a book about love, life and what happens after.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    A Certain Age
    by Beatriz Williams

    The Roaring Twenties comes to life in this tale of intrigue, romance, and scandal.

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Sweet Caress
by William Boyd

William Boyd's Sweet Caress captures an entire lifetime unforgettably within its pages. It captivates.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Summer Stunner
Summer Giveaway

Win 5 books, each week in July!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

C To T Q

and be entered to win..

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.