Blood Crime

Sebastià Alzamora, trans. from the Catalan by Maruxa Relaño and Martha Tennent. Soho Crime, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-616956-28-8
Set during the Spanish Civil War, Alzamora’s extraordinary U.S. debut charts the corrupt political and familial relationships among anarchists, the Catalan government, and hidden religious communities. Brothers of the Marist Order negotiate with the religion-hating anarchists for their escape to France, and Capuchin nuns buy their safety by harboring a deviant bishop obsessed with a musically talented novice. Meanwhile, government officials investigate the murders of a priest and a young boy found bitten and drained of blood. Striking paranormal elements include an eloquently reflective vampire, who takes advantage of Barcelona’s chaos, and an automaton horse constructed from the remains of massacre victims. Alzamora deftly balances a swiftly moving, multithreaded plot set firmly in a historical context with a transcendent, nearly timeless exploration of the dark, violent nature of humanity and the vain search for God’s mercy, and, in doing so, creatively fulfills the challenge of reinventing gothic horror for a modern age. Agent: Cristina Mora, Cristina Mora Literary & Film Agency (Spain). (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/18/2016
Release date: 09/13/2016
Paperback - 304 pages - 978-1-61695-836-7
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