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Publisher's Summary

Madrid, 1980. Juan de Vere, nearly finished with his university degree, takes a job as personal assistant to Eduardo Muriel, an eccentric, once-successful film director. Urbane, discreet, irreproachable, Muriel is an irresistible idol to the young man. But Muriel's voluptuous wife, Beatriz, inhabits their home like an unwanted ghost, and on the periphery of their lives is Dr. Jorge Van Vechten, a family friend implicated in unsavory rumors that Muriel now asks Juan to investigate. As Juan draws closer to the truth, he uncovers only more questions. What is at the root of Muriel's hostility toward his wife? How did Beatriz meet Van Vechten? What happened during the war?
Marías leads us deep into the intrigues of these characters, through a daring exploration of rancor, suspicion, loyalty, trust, and the infinitely permeable boundaries between the deceptions perpetrated on us by others and those we inflict upon ourselves.
©2014 Javier Marías; translation copyright 2016 by Margaret Jull Costa (P)2016 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Doctor George on 12-05-16

Fascinating plot, superb performance, psychological depth

The narrator has an excellent Spanish accent that lends authenticity when pronouncing Spanish names. He has a rich, full-bodied voice that adds drama with differing inflections for each character. The plot is a classic Javier Marias intricate character-driven psychological mystery with satisfying revelations throughout. For those who like an earthy, long and complex story and who have the patience to wait for those revelations as they emerge from the detailed narrative.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By L Mushlin on 08-06-17

A Good Example of Sticking With a Book

This book can be frustrating at times. The author rambles, repeats thoughts, and his observations can go on for pages. But it all is worth it if you stick it out to the end. The writing is beautiful and when the "mystery ", such as it is, is explained, it is satisfying. The backdrop of life under Franco is something that is never overdone -- it's just there, as a fact of life.

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