Summary and book reviews of The Invisible Guardian by Dolores Redondo

The Invisible Guardian

by Dolores Redondo

The Invisible Guardian by Dolores Redondo
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Mar 2016, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2017, 384 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

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Book Summary

Already a #1 international bestseller, this tautly written and gripping psychological thriller forces a police inspector to reluctantly return to her hometown in Basque Country - a place engulfed in mythology and superstition - to solve a series of eerie murders.

When the naked body of a teenage girl is found on a riverbank in Basque Country, Spain, homicide inspector Amaia Salazar must return to the hometown she always sought to escape. A dark secret from Amaia's past plagues her with nightmares, and as her investigation deepens, the old pagan beliefs of the community threaten to derail her astute detective work. The lines between mythology and reality begin to blur, and Amaia must discover whether the crimes are the work of a ritualistic killer or of a mythical creature known as the Basajaun, the Invisible Guardian.

Torn between the rational procedures of her job and the local superstitions of a region shaped by the Spanish Inquisition, Amaia fights against the demons of her past in order to track down a killer on the run.

Shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger 2015
Best Spanish Crime Novel of the Year, 2013 by major Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia
Top 10 Crime Novels of the Summer by Le Figaro Magazine, France
"Pluma de plata" (Silver Quill) 2014 by the Basque Booksellers Association
Best Novel of 2013 - Creatio Social Media
Best Spanish Novel of the Year, 2013 - "Continuarà" TVE Cultural Programme

1

AINHOA ELIZASU was the second victim of the basajaun, although the press was yet to coin that name for it. That came later, when it emerged that animal hairs, scraps of skin, and unidentifiable tracks had been found around the bodies, along with evidence of some kind of macabre purification rite. With their torn clothes, their private parts shaved, and their upturned hands, the bodies of those girls, almost still children, seemed to have been marked by a malign force, as old as the Earth.

Inspector Amaia Salazar always followed the same routine when she was called to a crime scene in the middle of the night. She would switch off the alarm clock so it wouldn't disturb James in the morning, pile up her clothes and, with her cell phone balanced on top of them, go very slowly downstairs to the kitchen. She would drink a cup of milky coffee while she dressed, leave a note for her husband, and get in the car. Then she would drive, her mind blank except for the white noise that ...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

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Redondo’s narrative is slowed a bit by longish descriptive passages that plunge us into the embrace of the cold, dark, mid-winter forest. And the investigation is not necessarily conducted according to the flawless CSI TV show standards we police procedural fans have come to expect. But Amaia’s character development and the glimpse of a culture and language rhythm that is so foreign to me possessed me from the start (not unlike my enthrallment with Jo Nesbø’s Harry Hole series). Throughout The Invisible Guardian I found myself pausing to roll all the words (there’s a glossary at the back) with so many x’s and z’s around in mouth. I will look forward to reading Redondo’s next book in this series.   (Reviewed by Donna Chavez).

Full Review (674 words).

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Media Reviews

New York Journal of Books

Fans of thrillers with the hint of the supernatural will enjoy reading Redondo and will be on the eager lookout for the next in the trilogy

Publishers Weekly

Already an international bestseller, this engrossing psychological thriller will impress American readers as well.

Library Journal

Starred Review. The Basque backdrop gives this thriller an especially intriguing layer of depth; the superstitions and mythologies passed down from the days of Spanish Inquisition penetrate the mystery to such an extent that the reader is easily transported.

The Sunday Times Magazine, Book of the Month

An international bestseller, combining singular characters and an eerily atmospheric setting.

El Mundo (Spain)

Dolores Redondo has set a landmark in the history of Spanish novel.

Mia (Spain)

One of the biggest literary surprises of recent times.

El Periodico (Spain)

A more sophisticated kind of book...than the conventional crime novel ... Exciting, attractive, competent, well structured, full of temperance, different and fresh.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

Bernard Heuvelmans: Father of Cryptozoology

BasajaunThe eponymous guardian in Dolores Redondo's The Invisible Guardian refers to a mythical Basque creature called a basajaun. According to a character in the book, "[B]asajauns are real creatures, hominids about two and a half meters tall, with broad shoulders, long hair on their heads, and thick hair all over their bodies…They live in the woods and are an intrinsic part of them, acting as protectors. According to legends, they make sure the harmony of the forest remains intact." This fictional character may believe basajauns are real, however, like Yeti, the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot, a basajaun has rarely-to-never been seen and has yet to be caught on film.

Still, regardless of their elusiveness – or maybe because of ...

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