Email this review


In May 1977, while leftist demonstrations build in anticipation of Spain's first post-Franco elections, Superintendent Luis Bernal (Saturday of Glory, Christmas Rising) is faced with a series of truly bizarre murders. First, on two occasions, fake dead bodies--mannequins--are found on Madrid Metro subway-trains--bags of fresh blood in their mouths supplying grisly realism. Then real women start turning up as corpses in the underground, also with those bags of blood--blood of a different type than the murder victims! Clearly this is a psycho at work. But with what rationale? At first a political connection seems possible: most of the victims worked for left-wing causes. But eventually, after a dismembered corpse surfaces in various locations (the source of all that blood, it seems), Supt. Bernal gives up trying to connect the victims (now also including a transsexual) and concentrates instead on the Metro setting. Why are all the corpses put on subway cars? Could the psycho be reliving some bygone death on the Metro? He could indeed--and Bernal's research, 40 years into the past, turns up the psycho's identity quickly. . .just as assistant cops Elena and Angel are trailing the killer into a Metro showdown. Not very plausible as psycho-crime--but strong on detailed Madrid backgrounds, police-procedural legwork, and nicely modulated tensions (cool Elena vs. macho Angel, Bernal vs. his wife and mistress) behind the scenes.

Pub Date: Sept. 4th, 1984
Publisher: St. Martin's