Review of the book “The Shadow” by Javier Maqua.

“The Shadow” is a mystery novel written by Spanish author Javier Maqua, published in 2016. This work tells the story of a journalist named Enrique, who becomes involved in a plot of corruption, murders and secrets from the past.

The Shadow, by Javier Maqua, is a short novel that takes us to post-war Spain, through the memories of a child who grew up surrounded by real and fictional monsters. With agile and evocative prose, the author offers us a portrait of a time marked by repression, fear, hypocrisy and silence, but also by imagination, humor and tenderness.

In The Shadow, Maqua recovers his childhood in the Madrid neighborhood of Chamberí, where he lived with colorful and marginal characters, such as the One-Eyed Pirate, Duck’s Hand or the Blind Beggar. The narrator tells us about his adventures and misadventures with his friends and enemies, his first loves and heartbreaks, his fears and fantasies. All this under the omnipresent shadow of the Franco dictatorship, which manifested itself in the school, the church, the family and the street.

The novel is a tribute to the popular literature of the time, such as serials, comics or adventure novels. The author masterfully recreates the colloquial language and expressions of that time, as well as the cultural and social references. The Shadow is also a reflection on the power of memory and fiction to transform reality and give meaning to life.

The Shadow is a work that invites us to travel to the past with a critical but also nostalgic and fun look. It is a novel that makes us laugh and cry, that moves us and surprises us. It is a novel that tells us about ourselves and our history.

Enrique is a veteran journalist who works at a small news agency in Madrid. One day, he receives the news that his friend and former colleague, Juan, has been found dead under strange circumstances. From that moment on, Enrique begins to investigate on his behalf and discovers that Juan was investigating a corruption plot in which politicians and businessmen in the region were involved.

As Enrique digs deeper into his investigation, he uncovers a web of intrigue, involving his own boss and several influential figures in the city. The plot thickens even further when he discovers that his own life is in danger, and that Juan’s murder was not the only one.

The author manages to keep the reader in suspense throughout the novel, thanks to the ability to create a dark and mysterious atmosphere. The characters are well constructed, with complex and ambivalent personalities, which makes the plot more interesting. Furthermore, the development of the story is very well structured, with unexpected twists and surprises in the outcome.

One of the highlights of this work is the depiction of the world of journalism and corruption plots, which feel very realistic and current. Maqua shows his ability to create believable characters and situations, which reflect the complexity of today’s society and its problems.

In summary, “The Shadow” is a very well written and structured mystery novel, which skillfully combines elements of corruption, intrigue and suspense. The plot is interesting, the characters are well built and the outcome is surprising. A recommended work for lovers of the mystery genre and for those interested in corruption plots and journalism.


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