Eva García Sáenz de Urturi, born in Victoria, Spain, burst onto the crime fiction scene with the publication of El silencio de la ciudad blanca (The silence of the white city) in 2016. Largely through word of mouth, the acclaimed novel quickly became a bestseller in Spain and Latin America and was followed in 2017 by Los ritos del agua (The rituals of water) and last year’s Los señores del tiempo (The lords of time). To date, the trilogy has sold more than one million Spanish-language copies, and beginning this spring, Vintage Español will bring the trilogy to the U.S. El silencio de la ciudad blanca will be released in the U.S. in trade paperback and e-book formats this April. The other books in the series will follow in June and September.
“At Vintage Español, we are very excited to bring to our readers the White City trilogy,” says Vintage Español publishing director Cristóbal Pera. He calls the books “a phenomenal international success that is easily explained when you meet the characters and discover the city of Vitoria, and follow the steps of Insp. Unai Pérez de Ayala, also known as Kraken,” adding, “It comes as no surprise that a legion of readers call themselves Krakonians, and that the city of Vitoria, in the Basque country, has become a tourist destination.”
Vintage compares the trilogy to Nordic noir and says the series “represents the first example of what we could call Basque noir.” Ayala, the series protagonist, is an introspective detective investigating ritualistic and violent crimes linked to the history of the Basque province of Alava, Vintage says, adding, “The action is set against the backdrop of the beautiful streets of Vitoria and the peculiarities of the Basque culinary scene, customs, and surrounding villages.” The novels, Vintage continues, “combine these elements with densely plotted mysteries featuring numerous twists and turns and a succinct prose that accentuates the novels’ darkness.”
Urturi will help promote the trilogy from Spain, and a movie based on the first book is due out in Spain this summer. (The film currently has no U.S. distributor.)
World English and U.S. Spanish rights were acquired in a preempt by the Knopf Doubleday Group and Vintage Español, respectively, from the Colchie Agency in New York, acting on behalf of the Antonia Kerrigan Agency in Barcelona. English translations of the White City trilogy will be published by Knopf in 2020.