cover image The Sound of One Hand Killing

The Sound of One Hand Killing

Teresa Solana, trans. from the Catalan by Peter Bush. Bitter Lemon, $14.95 trade

Early in Solana’s haphazardly plotted third novel featuring twin Barcelona detectives Eduard Martínez and Borja Masdéu (after 2011’s A Shortcut to Paradise), the pair find their office burglarized and decide to move a meeting with Teresa Solana, an author of noir novels, to an upstairs apartment where Borja is hiding an antique statue. Believing the apartment’s tenant to be gone, they arrive to discover a grisly corpse in the kitchen—but the statue remains safe. After Solana commissions them to research “alternative therapies” for a novel she’s writing (an inspector friend of Solana’s has told her that Borja has useful contacts for such a venture), the two enroll in weekend classes at a homeopathy clinic and are quickly embroiled in a second murder—that of the clinic’s director, Dr. Horaci Bou. The rest of the book whimsically switches between the two murder cases and intrigue surrounding the statue. The frequent political and social critiques of recession-torn Catalonia are of more interest than the crime solving. (May)