Víctor del Árbol translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman

A Million Drops

Publication Date: May 15, 2018

672 pp

Trade Paperback

List Price US $19.95
Trim Size (H x W): 5.5 x 8.25
ISBN: 978-1-59051-845-8


List Price US $16.99
ISBN: 978-1-59051-846-5

An intense literary thriller that tears through the interlocked histories of facism and communism in Europe without pausing for breath

Gonzalo Gil is a lawyer stuck in a disaffected life, in a failed career, trying to dodge the constant manipulation of his powerful father-in-law. This monotonous existence is shaken up when he learns, after years without news of his estranged sister, Laura, that she has committed suicide under dramatic circumstances. Her death pushes the fragile balance of Gonzalo’s life as both a father and husband to the limit.

Resolutely investigating the steps that led his sister to suicide, he will discover that Laura is suspected of having murdered a Russian gangster who had kidnapped and killed her young son. But what seems to be revenge is just the beginning of a tortuous path that will take Gonzalo through the untold annals of his family’s past that he would rather not face. He will have to enter fully into the fascinating story of his father, Elias Gil–the great hero of the resistance against fascism, the young Spanish engineer who traveled to the USSR committed to the ideals of the revolution, who was betrayed, arrested, and confined on the infamous Nazino Island, and who became a key figure, admired and feared, of Spain’s darkest years.

Suspenseful, dark, and thrilling, A Million Drops is a visceral story of enduring love and revenge postponed that introduces a master of international crime fiction to American readers.

Excerpt from A Million Drops

Zinoviev opened the door. When the young man tried to do the same, he stopped him.

“You wait here.”

“It’s better if I go with you. The boy only trusts me.”

“I said, wait here.”
Zinoviev opened the back door and asked the boy to get out. He tried to be nice, but this sort of thing didn’t come naturally to the Russian, whose voice and tattooed face were already frightening enough. The boy began to cry.

“You’ll be just fine. Go on,” the young man said encouragingly, forcing a smile.

He watched Zinoviev take the boy’s hand and began walking toward the gray water of the lake. The boy turned back to the car, and the young man waved confidently. Through the flicking of the wipers he could discern the wooden boardwalk and gazebo. It was almost entirely dark. Disobeying Zinoviev’s order, he got out and approached. Dry leaves crunched beneath his feet and soon the wet ground penetrated the soles of his shoes. When he reached the gazebo he saw Zinoviev’s broad muscular back, his hands in his pockets and a spiral of bluish smoke swirling over his shoulder. The Russian turned slowly and gave him a look.

“I told you to wait in the car.”

“We don’t have to do this, there’s got to be another way.”

Zinoviev took the cigarette from his mouth and blew on the tip.

“It’s already done,” he said, starting back to the car.

The young man walked to the edge. The lake’s calm waters glimmered like brass. Come, the darkness beckoned, Come, forget about it all.

            The boy was floating facedown like a starfish, and drops of rain, millions of them, blurred his body, which slowly began to sink.

“As I finished reading this book I came to a discovery that still fills me with anguish: the true protagonist of this story is death itself. Death in the guise of a woman both ruthless and terrifying, whose portrait Víctor del Árbol has fleshed out with the painterly eye of a Renaissance master.” —Javier Sierra, New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Supper

“A riveting historical fresco…Víctor del Árbol’s novel is sublime and unsettling.” —Huffington Post (Quebec)

“There are crime novels that are good, and others that are downright addictive. [A Million Drops], which you devour and savor from the first page to the last, belongs in the second category.” —Le Journal de Quebec 

“Víctor del Árbol stays true to the school of noir fiction, taut and musical.” —Télérama