The Summer of Dead Toys

The Summer of Dead Toys

4.5 2
by Antonio Hill
     
 

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A riveting crime thriller set during a sultry Barcelona summer, introducing Inspector Hector Salgado

Inspector Hector Salgado is a transplanted Argentine living in Barcelona. While working on a 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

Overview

A riveting crime thriller set during a sultry Barcelona summer, introducing Inspector Hector Salgado

Inspector Hector Salgado is a transplanted Argentine living in Barcelona. While working on a 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 casedark, 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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Spanish author Hill’s strong debut introduces Barcelona Insp. Héctor Salgado, a native of Argentina who has just returned to duty after an enforced vacation. Four months earlier, Salgado was suspended from duty for losing his temper and assaulting Dr. Omar, the leader of a human-trafficking ring. Salgado now looks into the death of 19-year-old Marc Castells, the son of a successful businessman with right-wing political connections. The teen’s fatal fall from a balcony appears to have been an accident, but Salgado’s astute partner, Leire Castro, notices a subtle clue that transforms the matter into a homicide investigation. Meanwhile, Dr. Omar, now recovered from the inspector’s beating, has vanished, with a bloody pig’s head left on the criminal’s office desk. Salgado’s rich inner life and Hill’s talents at plotting and prose bode well for a successful series. (June)
From the Publisher
“This dark thriller is an amazing debutacutely observed and meticulously crafted. Long live Hector Salgadoa thoroughly human detective-protagonist. I look forward to meeting him again.”  —John Verdon, bestselling author of Let the Devil Sleep
 
“Salgado’s rich inner life and Hill’s talents at plotting and prose bode well for a successful series.” Publishers Weekly

“Penetrating, atmospheric. . . . The plot is first-rate, with plausible twists and revelations [and] the book transcends the mystery genre with its focus on the dark secrets families keep. . . . Thoroughly compelling.” —Kirkus

“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.”—Library Journal

Praise from the 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 Independent
 
“Entertaining.” The Times
 
“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.” The Guardian

Kirkus Reviews
When a teenage boy in Barcelona falls from a window to his death, whether he slipped or was pushed is but one of the gripping questions facing Inspector Héctor Salgado in this penetrating, atmospheric mystery. Set during a sweltering summer, Spanish writer Hill's first novel centers on three friends: Marc, the victim, who hadn't been his likable self since returning from school in Dublin; Aleix, a two-faced schemer who is in trouble with drug dealers; and the impressionable Gina, who was smitten with Marc. Héctor, an Argentinian who recently moved to Barcelona, is looking into the case unofficially after being forced to take an extended vacation: He beat up a doctor involved in a trafficking scheme that left a young girl dead. Héctor's investigation uncovers unsettling truths about Marc's extended family while drawing him to the boy's mother, who abandoned him when he was a baby but, having recently re-connected with him, wants the cause of his death determined. Computers, flash drives, blogs and cellphones play prominent roles in the book, but like so many recent Spanish-language books and films, it deftly taps into the timeless fears of childhood and adolescence. While the plot is first-rate, with plausible twists and revelations, the book transcends the mystery genre with its focus on the dark secrets families keep. Marc was largely cared for by his indifferent father's brother, a priest. Héctor himself is a divorced dad with a ton of regrets. In the end, the novel indulges in convention with its Perry Mason–like confession/summing-up. But until then, it is thoroughly compelling, with strong female characters and Barcelona playing a major role. Ending with a teaser for the next novel featuring Inspector Salgado, this book gets the series off to a great start.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780770435875
Publisher:
Crown/Archetype
Publication date:
06/18/2013
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.52(h) x 1.18(d)

Meet the Author

Antonio Hill lives in Barcelona. He is a professional translator of English-language fiction into Spanish and speaks fluent English.

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The Summer of Dead Toys: A Novel 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
ABookishGirlBlog More than 1 year ago
The reason I picked up this book at the library is because I received the second book in this series for review and the back of the second book was covered in praise for this book so I held off reading the book I got for review so that I could read this first. Inspector Hector Salgado is in deep doo doo! Yep, I said doo doo, I'm trying to stop cussing so anyways, he physically assaulted a perp during an interrogation and had to take a bit of a vacation till the heat wore down a little bit but now he's back. But he still has to watch his back and his temper to avoid placing his job in even further jeopardy.  Not long after being back Salgado's boss Savall asks him to look into a case unofficially, here the boss and the victim's mom knew each other, and this rotates from an unofficial inquiry into a suicide/accident to a murder investigation. Did he really fall or was he pushed? Like all good literary detectives Inspector Salgado manages to unravel the mystery behind what seemed to be a tragic accident but turns out to be so much more. One of the best things that I found about this book is that this story is not your conventional crime/police novel there just seems to be this whole mass of events and people without a real huge hint towards the solution, which you normally find littered throughout much of this genre, at least in my opinion, this made the ending a shocker and who doesn't love to be surprised! Not all the book's content is about the crime either, the author lets you into Inspector Salgado's personal life to and the biggest cliffhanger of the story doesn't even involve the crime but instead has something to do personally with Salgado. The ending also makes quite the start for the second book in Antonio Hill's Inspector Salgado series, The Good Suicides, which I should have the review typed up and posted this week to! All and all this was a spectacular read with only a few moments of long seemingly meaningless words in the form of paragraphs.
SpontaneouslyUnique More than 1 year ago
As I started reading Antonio Hill's "Summer of Dead Toys," I found that after a couple chapters it was very hard to put the book down! Hill has a brilliant way of embracing his storyline, mixing in an array of visionary details about the streets of Barcelona and explaining the many traumas that have happened in Inspector Hector Selgado's past. The story introduces a wide variety of characters, giving a storyline to each of their daily lives, all the while focusing on the case of the intriguing, yet, mysterious fall of Marc Castells Vidal.  Crime, drugs, abuse and mystery fill every page, luring readers to keep searching their imagination for who they think is responsible or whether they think it was truly an accident, by littering each chapter with constant clues and new paths the Inspector takes throughout his investigation. The story had a extraordinary way of weaving many plot twists and character dilemmas, keeping me confused until the very end when it came to figuring out what actually happened to Marc.  Antonio Hall's "Summer of Dead Toys" was a truly excellent read. For anyone looking for a book that doesn't give away the storyline or ruin the plot, this book is definitely the "perfect" choice. I am an avid reader of thriller/mystery and detective novels and I can honestly say that Antonio Hill's "Summer of Dead Toys" has not left me with any disappoinment :)