March 25, 2004
Assault on the Viceroy
Yesterday, I went to buy a book called Assault on the Viceroy by Carles Quílez and Andreu Martín. The novel takes you to the city of Barcelona in the year 2001. A lawyer with family and financial problems ends up crossing paths with an Italian who was arrested by the police. In the trial process, this lawyer named Santi Germán gets his Italian client released, and as a favor, the client wants to involve him in a heist.
That's as far as I've read, about 70 pages, and the truth is that the book has a very good narrative. I like it; it's vulgar, streetwise, well-set, and has a sense of humor. I've never laughed so much in 70 pages, I usually laugh at most 4 or 5 times, but the eloquence generated by the situations draws a smile on my face until I burst out laughing.
In 1991, a gang of Italian criminals came to Barcelona with the intention of stealing the coin collection of the Gabinet Numismàtic de Catalunya, installed in the palace of the Viceroy. They didn't manage to carry out the heist.
Assault on the Viceroy is a puzzle made up of scraps of truth, whose pieces demand to be fitted together, and a gallery of characters as bizarre as they are believable. A novel resolved with firmness and brilliance, which breathes authenticity from every pore and tries to win that eternal and hackneyed pulse that reality and fiction traditionally maintain.
I hope the story leaves a good taste in my mouth… like almost all the books of this genre that I usually read, I always end up liking them. The next one I'll read will also be set in World War II. It's about two English soldiers who fall into German territory and manage to escape by getting into a train car full of dying German officers and heading to an SS hospital, where they pose as German officers who have become mute, and that's how the story continues.
Thanks to Hector for recommending The Prisoner of Spandau, I'm enjoying it a lot!