cover image Death Rites

Death Rites

Alicia Gimenez-Bartlett, , trans. from the Spanish by Jonathan Dunne. . Europa, $16.95 (300pp) ISBN 978-1-933372-54-9

Barcelona police inspector Petra Delicado is in the doldrums, both personally and professionally, at the outset of Giménez-Bartlett's excellent third mystery to be made available in the U.S. (after 2007's Prime Time Suspect ). Due to a staffing shortage, Delicado and a new partner, Sgt. Fermín Garzón, wind up investigating a rape case in which the assailant left a flowerlike brand on the 17-year-old victim's arm. When the rapist strikes again, pressure on the pair mounts. After a third girl falls victim, the girl's influential father pulls strings to get the case reassigned, but Delicado refuses to surrender easily. Delicado's unsparing insights into her own contradictory personality lend human interest as does the by-play between her and the paunchy, middle-aged Garzón. The many plot twists will please readers who like a balance between in-depth characterization and detective work. (June)