A mute profiling inspector, Kraken, whose superior is pregnant, either by him or by her late serial killer husband. Agreed, it’s a bit big. The victim, hanged and drowned in a Celtic cauldron, also pregnant, turns out to have been Kraken’s girlfriend, twenty-five years earlier, and one cannot help thinking that, in Spain, we don’t always do in the mantilla when it comes to thrillers… And yet, what nerve we find in this Spanish Basque! She tints her investigations (the first, Le Silence de la villeblanche, 200,000 copies sold in Spain, reappears at Pocket) with an irresistible vernacular flavor. This new Iberian female voice advances through the plot like an Armada galleon, we firmly believe even in the impossible, and isn’t that the cardinal virtue of good fiction? No wonder this Spanish success passed the barrier of the Pyrenees.

The Rites of Water, by Eva Garcia Saenz de Urturi. Translated from Spanish by Judith Vernant (Black River, 544 pages, 21.90 euros).

Killer Snippet: PrologueThe San Adrián TunnelNovember 17, 2016, ThursdayI’ve been pregnant since August, Unai, Alba whispered, watching for my reaction. Since the celebrations of the Virgen Blanca. I remember the intensity of this feeling. My involuntary smile, illuminating the grayness of November. Alba, pregnant. Of me. I did the math: fourteen weeks. This baby had already lived longer than my twins. Fourteen weeks. The dangers of the first trimester were behind him – or her. A son, a daughter. Alba and I were going to be parents. I closed my eyes, savoring these moments, the happiest in years. I turned my head to my living room window; outside, a numb Vitoria was dissolving in the rain. The white balconies, on the other side of the Plaza de la Virgen Blanca, were almost invisible. It didn’t bother me, the warmth flowing through my veins could have warmed an entire universe. But looking at his face, I read a warning in his eyes, the beginnings of bad news. “What?” I wrote without understanding. ” What’s the matter ? It may not be the best way to start a relationship, but…” Alba interrupted the movement of my fingers on the screen. Right now, I have no way of knowing if he is yours. or Nancho. Her husband’s name clicked like a gunshot in the corner of my brain. Nancho was dead but his seed remained alive in Alba’s belly? For those who don’t know my story, I summarize: I am Unai López de Ayala, profiler in the Vitoria-Gasteiz Criminal Squad. Everyone calls me Kraken. I’ve had Broca’s aphasia ever since a serial killer put a bullet in my brain. I’m still unable to speak, except sometimes a kind of croaking when I have no choice. But I communicate quite effectively through an app on my cell phone. That’s actually precisely what I was trying to do with my line manager, Deputy Commissioner Alba Díaz de Salvatierra, the woman that otherwise… well: her. At that moment – ​​the worst possible – I received a WhatsApp message from Estíbaliz, my partner. I curse her for this untimely irruption. “Kraken, excuse me to interrupt what-you-were-doing-I-don’t-know-what-but-pleased-for-you, but the Scientist is at a crime scene at the tunnel from San Adrián, Ávala side. The Deputy Commissioner’s cell phone is off. You better come, it’s important. I showed the message to Alba. We exchanged a worried look and she hurriedly retrieved her phone from her coat pocket. “Esti, sorry but I’m still on hold.” The Deputy Commissioner will call you right away. What happened ? “Young woman, hanging from a rope by her feet. Possible death by drowning. “Drowning, on top of a mountain?” I replied without thinking. Guess the inconsistency had awakened the profiler in me. The victim was immersed up to the shoulders in a bronze cauldron filled with water. A museum piece. To be confirmed, but it could well be a Celtic cauldron. This is not a murder like any other. A bizarre death, in a very elaborate setting. I would like the Deputy Commissioner to ask Judge Olano to allow you to attend the visual inspection as an expert. I hope I’m wrong and we’re not dealing with another serial killer, but you’re one of the best profilers I know, and if I get the case, I want you to be there for me. advise. “I couldn’t help making assumptions, imagining the scene, wanting to see it with my own eyes. But I restrained myself. I was still locked out and unable to speak. I was no longer part of the team. I couldn’t help it. “Okay.” It sounds weird, but you’ll be fine without me. I can’t come, and even if I could, it would be a bad idea,” I clarified, hoping she wouldn’t insist. prefer that you learn it from me rather than from the press, otherwise you risk making me pay for it all my life. “What does that mean, Esti?” “We found the girl’s papers in her wallet. “Who the fuck is that?” I wrote worriedly. “Ana Belén Liaño, your first girlfriend.” The girl you dated in Cantabria, before…” “It’s okay, Esti,” I interjected, shaken. “How did you know about all this?” “Lutxo had told my brother everything. »Annabel Lee. Impossible to imagine her dead, even knowing her fondness for macabre games and rituals. Annabel Lee is dead. “There’s something else you need to know. “What more could there be?” ” ” She was pregnant. »

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