Jordi Llobregat, a Valencian born in 1971, seems to have taken up writing at the age of twelve after seeing the film Le magnifique. In 2015 he published the novel Vesalius’ secret with which he received excellent reviews and a great reception from readers. Now, he is back with his second novel, There is no light under the snow (Destino, 2019), with which he delves into the genre of crime novels with a touch of historical novel, with which the author completes a very well thought-out detective story.
Review of the book “No hay luz bajo la nieve”
No hay luz bajo la nieve opens with a crime. A naked, handcuffed man, his eyelids sewn shut with wire, is found submerged in the icy waters of a swimming pool during construction work on the Vall de Beau ski resort in the Pyrenees. This infrastructure is set to be the most emblematic of the Spanish-French bid for the next Winter Olympic Games
This crime will mark the beginning of a series of murders linked to a story that has been hidden for decades. Deputy homicide detective Alex Serra and French police lieutenant Jean Cassel will be in charge of the investigation. Serra grew up in a small village in the area, so no one knows the place like she does. But the return to her hometown will bring with it a reunion with old ghosts that the protagonist has not yet been able to overcome. Memories of a past that she will have to face. Because the past, even if we don’t want it to, always comes back
With this plot Jordi Llobregat weaves a magnificent thriller full of intrigue and suspense. Perfectly spun and full of twists and turns, the novel keeps the reader trapped until the protagonists of the story are able to hunt down, or not, the person responsible for the crimes
A novel where nature becomes a character in its own right
As the most devastating snowstorm of the last twenty years is about to break out, the reader will be able to witness the weight that the forest and the mountains have in the novel. The enigmatic, threatening, cold and powerful nature thus becomes another protagonist in this story
No hay luz bajo la nieve is also a historical novel
Jordi Llobregat interweaves this suspense novel with a historical part. That part of history that we must not forget. And he does so through Raquel, who, through her memories collected in a diary, links us to the wandering Jews who tried to enter Spain through the French border, fleeing from the Nazis. Thus, interspersed between the main chapters with fragments of Rachel’sDiary, the author shows us the Jewish escape routes through the Pyrenees passes. These routes were used by thousands of Jews, especially between 1940 and 1942, during the Vichy regime. No Light in the Snow also deals with the former textile colonies located in this setting.
In No hay luz bajo la nieve there is also room for rare diseases, as one of the characters, the heiress of a former textile colony, suffers from erythropoietic porphyria, which keeps her practically locked up in a mansion and forced to live in continuous darkness.
The novel is structured in 88 short chapters and 7 main chapters: those corresponding to the seven deadly sins as the axis of a revenge that, as the reader will discover, have a lot to do with the plot. The novel reads relatively quickly, among other reasons because of the author’s agile and fluid prose that will encourage the reader to continue reading, intrigued to reach the denouement. All in all, it will not disappoint readers, No hay luz bajo la nieve it will not disappoint readers who are fans of crime novels with hints of historical novels.
About the author Jordi Llobregat
He is the creator and director of the International Film Noir Festival of Valencia, co-director of the Torrent Histórica festival and of the Bancaja Foundation’s XATS cycle of cultural meetings. He writes the cultural column Atasco en la mesilla in the newspaper Las Provincias and collaborates with several specialised media and is a member of the literary group El cuaderno rojo.
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