“Memento Mori”: a crime novel with a soundtrack

Memento Mori by César Pérez Gellida (Valladolid, 1974) has been recommended by a friend. Googling the title led this blogger to the discovery of an interesting blog on literature called Cargada con libros [Loaded with books], written by Marina Ortega, a journalist from Malaga. This post is a summary of her impressions.

Memento Mori

The plot begins in September 2010. What seems to be a peaceful Sunday morning for homicide inspector Ramiro Sancho turns into a frenetic search for a ruthless and intelligent assassin who appears to be ready to disturb the peace of the city of Valladolid. As can be expected from a crime novel, it begins with the corpse of a young woman from Ecuador that is found in one of the city’s parks. The body has been mutilated and is accompanied by some strange verses that make the whole case still more bizarre. From the very beginning this uncommon murderer puts in check the whole police force of Valladolid; and also from the very beginning, the readers get to know the novel’s protagonists. There are a lot of them, and Ortega points out three who make up a diversified triangle that is responsible for some of the novel’s most unexpected turns. There is Ramiro Sancho, the typical crime inspector of a novel of this kind: attached to his work with little or no family and of middle age. There is a very uncommon assassin. Augusto Ledesma, a psychopath fully integrated into society who leads a double life and who kills – for fun? A frightening appearance for the reader but at the same time a person nobody merely looking at him would consider a cunning and dangerous assassin. And then there is Carapocha, a psychologist hired to clarify the assassin’s behavior; and according to Ortega a character not to be left unobserved. Good personalities, an addictive plot and even a soundtrack of its own. And what is more: when everything seems to be clear and the readers have come to their own conclusions, there comes an inexpected turn that takes apart all of them. Marina Ortega terminates her post on this novel with a warm recommendation to read it.

According to César Pérez homepage, there is already the second volume to the Versos, canciones y trocitos de carne [Verses, songs, and bits of meat] trilogy, called Dies irae.

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