Snippet: crime fiction with a media focus, Sanclemente’s “Esta es tu vida”

The third novel by José Sanclemente (Barcelona, 1957), an economist with a lot of media experience, is called Esta es tu vida [This is your life] and presents the dark world of “reality TV”.

The publisher’s summary:

A reality show with a huge audience. A rampant thriller that drags detective Julián Ortega and journalist Leire Castelló into a situation without exit.

The little village of Alella on the Barcelona coast is shocked: the corpse of a brutally murdered woman has appeared inside the church steeple on the same day that the inauguration of the new bells was to be celebrated. The body -Lucía, a contestant of Esta es tu vida, a highly popular reality show- shows three mortal wounds and empty eye sockets. When police inspector Julián Ortega starts with his investigation, he finds out that the assassin appears to have used an ancient ritual of martyrdom that the Romans used against the Christians, the same that killed Saint Lucía of Syracuse… For her part, Leire Castelló, a journalist who works for the news services of the channel that broadcasts Esta es tu vida, is forced by her superiors to participate in a sensationalist special program on the case, which gives her direct access to the story.

But the murders have only begun…

Natalia Marcos adds in her review that “in addition to the crime plot one finds also reflections on the mixing of TV genres or the lack of scruples of some executives in the world of television. …  Apart from the world of TV, a religious order with tentacles in big international companies is involved in the story.”

Sanclemente’s earlier crime novels are Tienes que contarlo [You have to tell it, 2012] and No es lo que parece [It’s not what it seems like, 2013], both of them also set in the world of media.

SOURCE: El País, Nov. 10, 2014; Roca (publisher)

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