cover image The North Face of the Heart

The North Face of the Heart

Dolores Redondo, trans. from the Spanish by Michael Meigs. Amazon Crossing, $24.95 (496p) ISBN 978-1-5420-2232-3

In 2005, 25-year-old Spanish assistant inspector Amaia Salazar, the protagonist of this gripping prequel to Redondo’s Baztán trilogy, is taking a course at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va. During a lecture, Amaia learns of a serial killer, nicknamed the Composer, who’s been targeting families affected by natural disasters. The Composer has fatally shot survivors of tornados in Texas and Oklahoma, where a witness saw him “waving his arms like someone directing an orchestra.” Now, as Hurricane Katrina heads toward New Orleans, the FBI wants Amaia, an expert on serial killer psychology, to assist with their investigation. In New Orleans, the suspense builds as Amaia, FBI agents, and local detectives work tirelessly to try to find the Composer before the killer can strike again. Amaia’s distinctive backstory, which includes a traumatic childhood, adoption at age 12 by an elderly American couple, and an outstanding school career in the U.S. before returning to Spain to join the police, lends weight to the dramatic action. This crime thriller is a good starting place for readers new to Redondo. Agent: Maria Cardona, Pontas Agency (Spain). (June)