- Author: Jordi Sierra i Fabra
- Reader: Milly C. Lugo
- Date: February 24, 2012
Jordi Sierra i Fabra’s fast-paced murder mystery is full of colorful characters, such as Nestor Serradell, the feisty, intuitive, reporter who adroitly and with a few violent encounters, is able to solve the crime. Nestor is the driving force of a plot that contains enough twists and turns to keep the reader interested and looking forward to his further discoveries.
The story revolves around the murder of an elderly man at the mediocre senior home, Residencia Aurora. A bit peculiar, as residents here tend to die of natural causes and, at the scene, there appears to be no visible motive for the murder. It is our protagonist, Nestor, the one who finds the body when he visits the deceased in response to a telephone call from him the previous day.
The reader slowly begins to discover many unusual details about the victim, Juan Barcenas, a retired and wealthy businessman from Barcelona. First, Barcenas checked himself in the home the previous day of his murder. Second, he was wealthy enough to have the best of care at his luxurious residence instead of this second rate senior home. Lastly, Barcenas did not appear to be in need of hospice care, as he had full use of his faculties, was able to fend for himself, and was in good health…that is, until the unfortunate incident of his murder.
The story takes place in Barcelona, from its business and residential sectors to the hidden nooks where corruption reigns. There is a plot within the plot, as we find things about Residencia Aurora that have nothing to do with senior care or Barcenas murder, but adds piquancy to the narrative.
El Rastro del Odio is a good candidate for translation. It definitely has mass appeal. The author’s style is relaxed and sentences seem to flow seamlessly as the story unravels. Fabra’s book invites the reader to witness the story, as much as read about it. The final resolution of the crime makes sense and is plausible.