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Kirlus Review: "Inspector Petra Delicado (Dog Day, 2006) investigates the case of a TV gossipmonger whose ratings were equaled only by the number of suspects with a motive for his murder."

Date: May 18 2007

Inspector Petra Delicado (Dog Day, 2006) investigates the case of a TV gossipmonger whose ratings were equaled only by the number of suspects with a motive for his murder.

Someone must really have wanted Ernesto Valdes dead, since his throat was slit after he was shot decisively in the head. All signs point to a professional hit. But who hired the hit man? When Inspector Moliner and Sgt. Rodriguez, originally assigned to the case, are reassigned to look into the murder of the Health Inspector’s alleged lover, it falls to Petra and Sgt. Fermìn Garzón. Valdes knew so many unsavory secrets about so many people, and was willing to spill so many of them on the air or demand payment for keeping them quiet, that the field is wide open. And apart from the obligatory personal and domestic complications—especially her sister Amanda, who seems determined to avenge her estranged husband’s adultery by sleeping with every police officer in Barcelona—Petra’s inquiries are complicated by the high mortality rate among her witnesses, her growing suspicion that the Health Minister may connect both cases and her reluctant certainty that no one  person could possible have killed all those victims.

Overcoming the understandable hostility of her suspects and her pardonable national pride—“This was Spain, and we were not used to such levels of promiscuity”—Petra patiently pursues each lead until every single murderer is brought to book.