The North Face of the Heart

Amazon Crossing. Jun. 2021. 496p. tr. from Spanish by Michael Meigs . ISBN 9781542022323. $24.95; pap. ISBN 9781542022316. $14.95. M
This title is both prequel and sequel to Redondo’s “Baztán Trilogy” of noir detective procedurals with strong elements of the supernatural. The protagonist is Amaia Salazar, born in the Basque state Navarre but educated in the U.S. Recruited by the FBI after college, she elected instead to return to Navarre, where she became the youngest police inspector in Spain after trapping a serial killer only she could find. She is now training in Quantico with an FBI strike force pursuing a serial killer who only attacks during violent storms. They hunt for the killer takes place as Hurricane Katrina devastates New Orleans. Something happened to Amaia 15 years ago that blocked her memory, but as she bonds with her new colleagues, she begins to recall her stepmother’s attempt to murder her. The FBI agent in charge of the search has his own traumatic past to relive; soon there are three mysteries to be solved, one past and two present.
VERDICT The mysteries are dark and twisty, and the moments of danger are plentiful. Amaia’s experience with trauma gives her insight into people’s thinking; she uses this knowledge to hunt down new demons. Fans of noir fiction will devour this book.
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