Where crimes from the Spanish Civil War come back to haunt a new generation.
When New Yorker Alex Nadal inherits his aunt's farm near Barcelona he is more than intrigued. First, because his aunt appears to have died twice - once at the end of the Spanish Civil War and again sixty years later - and secondly because he is curious about his Catalan roots, about which his father has always maintained a stony silence.
But his arrival on Spanish soil is not a prodigal's return; indeed he is made to feel very unwelcome. He asks too many questions which are met with either hostility or silence, until Alex begins to understand that in this sun-baked and ancient land the past is not history but merely unfinished business. And in the end it's a simple ultimatum: finish it or it will finish him.
An assured and absorbing first novel with a background of Barcelona so vivid you can almost touch it - The Telegraph
There is a great deal to like in this sophisticated novel... (Burgen's) touch is light, though the theme is dark - Catalonia Today
Captures the vibrancy, tensions and flavours of the Spanish city while giving us a well written and intriguing mystery - Manchester Evening News
Both a love letter and a character study of Barcelona, woven into a classic suspense plot - January Magazine
Burgen... does a fine job paying homage to Catalonia in his first novel - Publishers Weekly
Stephen Burgen lived in Canada until he was 11, when his family returned to Britain. He first visited Barcelona in the 1970s and settled there in 2001 as the Spanish correspondent for The Times. In recent years he has worked as a freelance journalist, contributing regularly to the Guardian.