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Death Rites [Paperback]

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Item description for Death Rites by Alicia Gimenez-Bartlett & Jonathan Dunn...

Petra Delicado, a Barcelona police inspector assigned to a desk job, returns to the homicide department to investigate the rapes of young girls by a serial rapist who only leaves a circular mark on his victims' forearms.

Publishers Description
Tough, sexy, at times apparently pitiless, Petra Delicado is a new kind of cop in Spanish crime writing. As she battles with sexist colleagues, ruthless reporters, indifferent witnesses, hardened criminals, and houseplants that just won't flower, she sometimes thinks her thirst for new challenges and perpetual change is more trouble than it's worth.
Inspector Delicado has been chained to a tiresome desk job in the documentation department of the Barcelona police force for months. But things are about to change. The department is short-handed and there's a serial rapist on the loose. Delicado is partnered with the portly and impossibly compliant Sergeant Fermin Garzon with orders to solve the case before it succeeds in ruining the good name of the Barcelona police force. However, the only lead they have is the rapist's mysterious signature: a circular mark of unknown origins he leaves on his victims' forearms. No witnesses, no other leads, and no help from the victims themselves. To further complicate her life, Inspector Delicado is trying to shake off two ex-husbands, Hugo, who persists in shamelessly belittling her, and Pepe, as helpless and hapless as a little boy in her absence.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   300
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1" Width: 5.25" Height: 8"
Weight:   0.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 3, 2008
Publisher   Europa Editions
ISBN  1933372540  
ISBN13  9781933372549  

Availability  0 units.

More About Alicia Gimenez-Bartlett & Jonathan Dunn

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Alicia Gimenez-Bartlett was born in Almansa (Spain) in 1951. In 1997, she was awarded the Feminino Lumen prize for the best female writer in Spain. She subsequently launched her Petra Delicado series, which quickly turned her into one of Spain's most popular and loved crime writers.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > Spanish
2Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > General
3Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Police Procedurals

Reviews - What do customers think about Death Rites?

"She can be pretty venomous towards suspects, cursing and swearing..It takes a strong stomach to watch her work."  Jun 6, 2008
(3.5 stars) Though this is the third novel which Europa Editions has released in the Petra Delicado series, set in Spain (following Dog Day and Prime Time Suspect), it is the first in the series, chronologically. Introducing us to Inspector Petra Delicado and her sergeant, Fermin Garzon, a detective combo which somehow meshes perfectly, the novel explores their contrary life-styles, individual quirks, and differing ages and backgrounds. Now in her thirties, Petra has abandoned her upscale law career--and her arrogant husband and law partner Hugo--to become a police officer in Barcelona. Her second marriage to Pepe, a charming, younger man who is still dependent upon her, has also ended in divorce.

Fermin, also living alone, is estranged from his son, a doctor who lives in New York, but he is softer and more sentimental than Petra--a laid-back and ferociously hard-working retiree from the Salamanca force, anxious to do his job in Barcelona. Always aware that she is the inspector and he is the sergeant, he keeps his mouth closed when she becomes aggressive but stays around to pick up the pieces when that becomes necessary. Paunchy and in his fifties, Fermin lives in a dreary boarding house but spends his after-hours eating, drinking, and talking at The Ephemerides, a bar owned by Pepe, Petra's ex-husband.

Petra and Fermin are called in to investigate the cases of three young women who have been raped. All have been branded on their forearms with a flower-shaped mark made by barbs. None of the victims can or will provide any information, and Petra and Fermin must rely on tedious searches through databanks and plenty of legwork to come up with suspects. What was the instrument used to brand the victims? Who might have made it? Who might have ordered it? And ultimately, who would have murdered one of the victims, weeks after the crime? Along the way, they must deal with the police hierarchy, which wants results, and with aggressive reporters who believe, and publicly state, that Petra and Fermin are unqualified for the job.

Spanish author Alicia Gimenez-Bartlett is at least as interested in character here as in dramatic action. Concentrating on the intellectual contests between the rapist and the victims and eventually between a killer and victim, the author also shows Petra and Fermin to be engaged in separate intellectual contests with the perpetrators, with each other, with the police department, and with the press. Little action takes place on stage, and the rapes and the murders are "reported" rather than presented "live." Those who have read Prime Time Suspect, the third novel in this series, may find this mystery simple and unsophisticated by comparison. Here the stories of the investigators, the victims, and the perpetrators, and how they became the people they are, take center stage. n Mary Whipple


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