, 2010 - Fiction
- 727 pages
Cadiz, year 1811. While Spain and America are both fighting for their independence, a different type of battle is being waged in Europe’s most liberal city. Young women are found dead, their throats severed by the cutting slash of a whip. And in each place, just before another dead body is found, a French bomb has exploded. These events create a sinister sketch over the city: a complex chess board where the hand of a mysterious player — a ruthless murderer, chance, the direction of the winds, the estimation of probabilities — moves the pieces that determine the fate of the characters: a savage and corrupt police officer, the heiress to a local commercial empire, an unscrupulous privateer, a misanthropic taxidermist and spy, a guerilla fighter from the coast capable of inspiring the most tender feelings, and an eccentric artilleryman more concerned with finding a solution to the short range of his mortar and shells than with war. El asedio reconstructs the extraordinary pulsating beat of a real or imaginary world. It is the end of an era and also the story of individuals condemned by History, sentenced to live a life that, just as the city they call home — an enigmatic, ambiguous and misleading Cadiz, a city whose brightness and luminosity is only skin deep — will never be the same.