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The Summer of Dead Toys by Antonio Hill
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The Summer of Dead Toys (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Antonio Hill

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1271594,816 (3.34)7
Member:maneekuhi
Title:The Summer of Dead Toys
Authors:Antonio Hill
Info:Doubleday London (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:cf, series, intl, Barcelona

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The Summer of Dead Toys by Antonio Hill (2011)

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English (12)  Catalan (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (15)
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Inspector Hector returns from time off because of beating up a perpetrator, and is asked as a favor to investigate the circumstances surrounding a young man's apparent suicide. Three wealthy families are intertwined in the situation, with many secrets and betrayals. Hector's own family is also in a state of flux, and he has reason to fear for their safety. ( )
  sleahey | Aug 27, 2015 |
This book is an Advanced Readers Copy sent to me by Random House. It explicitly states that it is an uncorrected proof so I hope my one big problem with the book was corrected in the final version. More about that later.Inspector Hector Salgado is employed by the Barcelona police force or, possibly, he is not going to be employed much longer. While investigating a people smuggling ring that was bringing young girls from Nigeria into Spain for prostitution Salgado brutally beat an elderly man who called himself a doctor although he had no formal training. Salgado was given a months’ holiday while the investigation of his conduct took place. He returned to his birthplace of Argentina for the month but now is back in Spain. The doctor that he beat disappeared and blood, as well as a boar’s head, was found in his office. Salgado has been instructed to leave the investigation of the disappearance to his colleague Martina Andreu. Salgado has been given a case of Marc Castells, a young man from a good family who fell to his death from his attic window. His boss knows the family and wants to assure them that all efforts have been made to determine how the fall took place but he is sure that it was an accident. However as Salgado and a new detective, Leire Castro, look into the case it seems that nothing is clear-cut. Everything seems to lead back to an accident that occurred at a summer camp when Marc was 6 years old. Meanwhile Salgado is dealing with his personal problems. His wife Ruth left him a year before to pursue a relationship with a woman. His son Guillermo is growing up and Salgado worries that he hasn’t been a good father. His colleague Leire has problems of her own; she has discovered she is pregnant from a tempestuous, short-lived relationship.Parent and child relationships crop up a lot in this book. The mother of Marc Castells abandoned him and his father when he was 6 months old but she has returned for the funeral and to exert pressure to discover how the fall happened. Marc’s father has remarried and they have adopted a Chinese girl. Marc’s stepmother dotes on her but the father seems ambivalent. The book is fairly well-written although there is a tendency to use English sayings that are rather dated. Methinks the author, who is described as fluent in English, reads more books from England than from the North American continent. I liked the character of Inspector Salgado and his colleague Leire. However, there was a twist at the end that just doesn’t seem possible in the time line. Salgado’s ex-wife Ruth left Barcelona on Friday and was never heard from again. Salgado thinks that the doctor that he beat arranged the disappearance. However, we know from Sargeant Andreu’s investigation that the doctor was taken prisoner on Monday and died some time before Saturday of injuries that occurred on Monday. To me it just doesn’t seem possible that the doctor could have caused Ruth’s disappearance. That really caused me to lower the rating I gave to this book. ( )
  gypsysmom | Apr 4, 2015 |
I love love loved this book. I didn't have high hope after getting two books from Blogging For Books that I wasn't so thrilled with but this one didn't disappoint. From the very first page every motion was well crafted and thought out. I can usually figure out who ultimately was responsible for things but this book totally kept me guessing, even during the final unraveling and reveal I found that I was off the mark.

Salgado is a broken man, his wife left him for another woman, and he is on probation from work for assaulting a voodoo doctor who was involved in a human trafficking. Upon returning he is given the assignment to unofficially look into what seems to be an accidental death or suicide of a young boy of privilege. The further they investigate the more they uncover and this death is anything but routine. In the meantime the man who Salgado assaulted has gone missing.

There are many different story lines in this book but they all converge in the end to a mostly satisfying conclusion. I found the characters to be realistic with all their flaws and insecurities, it left me wanting to know more about each of the main characters. Even the descriptions of those involved in the cases were sympathetic in their own way. Even when they were a bit despicable you could feel some type of compassion for them. If you like a well written thrill pick up something by Antonio Hill. ( )
  ReadingGrrl | Jan 24, 2015 |
Meh
  revliz | Nov 11, 2014 |
A seemingly simple case of a young man falling to his death, at first it appeared to be accidental or perhaps a suicide, but no one thought it was murder, not until Inspector Hector Salgado was assigned the case upon his return to Barcelona from a lengthy vacation in his native Buenos Aires.

“The Summer of Dead Toys” is Antonio Hill’s first book featuring Barcelona’s criminal detective Inspector Hector Salgado. We first meet Inspector Salgado as he returns from Buenos Aires, where he has been cooling his heels after an incident where he unmercifully beat a questionable Dr. Omar who caused the death of a young Nigerian girl. This young girl had been kidnapped by a human trafficking network in which the doctor was involved, a network that Inspector Salgado spent more than a year trying to break. Salgado’s superior, Superintendent Savall, put him on leave of absence while Savall dealt with the beating incident.

Now that Inspector Salgado is back to work, and the beating incident not yet finalized as Dr. Omar has suddenly gone missing, Inspector Salgado is assigned the task of quickly closing this case of Marc Castells Vidal’s fall to his death. Marc’s estranged mother, Joana Vidal, a long ago friend of Superintendent Savall, has asked the Superintendent to look into the death of her son as she doesn’t believe it was suicide and wants proof that is was not. A simple case becomes more complicated as Inspector Salgado, and his partner, the “new girl” Agent Leire Castro, delve into what actually happened that night. Everyone involved with this case, other than Inspector Salgado and Agent Castro, either are hiding something or just want the case closed as an accidental death. No one wants Salgado to prove murder.

This book was quite good as it was not a straight forward case of it being murder; was it murder or was it what everyone wants it to be, accidental. The case escalates as we meet the people involved in Marc’s life. Then there is the side story of the Dr. Omar case, a case which doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, and the side stories of the personal lives of Salgado and Castro that bring a human touch to the book. The ending was a surprise and I think most readers will be as surprised as I was. I look forward to reading the next Inspector Hector Salgado book “The Good Suicides,” and learning more about Salgado and Agent Castro, two people I like very much.
  C.J.McBride-Stern | Sep 17, 2014 |
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Ik heb al lang niet meer aan Iris gedacht en al evenmin aan de zomer waarin ze stierf.
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Inspector Hector Salgado is a transplanted Argentine living in Barcelona. While working on human trafficking case, Salgado's violent temper got the best of him and he beat a suspect within an inch of his life. Ordered on probation, he fled to Argentina to cool off for a few months. Now he's back, eager for another big case, but his boss assigns him to a routine accidental death in one of Barcelona's ritzier neighborhoods. Hector begins to follow a trail that will lead him deep into the underbelly of Barcelona's high society, where he'll come face-to-face with dangerous criminals, long-buried secrets, and, of course, his own past.--From publisher description.… (more)

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