Here is a major Spanish suspense story writer with his second book to be translated into English (May 2015), which I read in advance in French as ‘Toutes les Vagues de l’Océan’. A journey through time and place (Europe from the 1930’s to present day) and a darker journey through a families awful secrets. This exceptional historic panorama is painted (unusually for me) from a Spanish perspective. The first story within the story treats the Russian training of foreign communists on Russian soil and the random purges to what were essentially extermination Gulags prior to the Spanish civil war from a communist view point through the eyes of one of the two major protagonists Elias Gil a young likeable idealist who experiences the things a man will do to survive, committing the ‘Original Sin’ at the heart of this book, to survive, along the way. We follow Elias Gil through the major historical events of the mid 20th century up to his mysterious disappearance in 1967. The second story within the story,set in recent Barcelona, concerns Elias’s son Gonzalo Gil, a quiet lawyer raised to idealise his father, who, following his estranged sisters death in compromising circumstances, sets out to prove her innocence. The Spanish nationalists did not disappear with Franco we learn, but continue to control business (legal and illegal) as before, compromising themselves where necessary with organised crime (Russian Mafias). Gonzalo is lead to rediscover the truth about his father and to make arrangements with his own ideals along the way. This long and well researched book helped me to better understand the political journey made by Spain and the powerlessness of the individual through the dark days of the 20th century, and incidentally was a compulsive read.
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Toutes les Vagues de l’Océan: First published in Spain in 2014
Translated into French by Claude Bleton, published by Seuil in 2015