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The Heart Tastes Bitter

by Victor del Arbol

Crime / Mystery Thriller and Suspense

LoveReading View on The Heart Tastes Bitter

A Maxim Jakubowski selected title.

The first novel to be translated into English by one of Spain's leading crime writers is a revelation and one can only hope more will follow quickly. A depressed, now alcoholic painter who has recently been released from jail for the murder of a drunk driver who had killed his wife and daughter is engaged by a famous violin player to paint a portrait of another drunk driver who had killed her own son four years earlier. Eduardo is drawn towards the character and takes a step to far into the discovery process. A noir tale at times reminiscent of Hitchcock's VERTIGO in its parade of sad characters striving for some form of redemption and overall shimmering irreality, this is also a complex, multi-charactered tale in which Eduardo, the widower, sets out on a journey to the heart of his soul amongst the Madrid underworld and uncovers truths that might have best remained hidden. Del Arbol has a strong, characteristic voice and tone, which I found compelling, and moving. ~ Maxim Jakubowski

Maxim Jakubowski

The Heart Tastes Bitter Synopsis

Eduardo Quintana’s life lost all meaning when his wife and daughter were killed in a tragic accident. The once renowned painter wallows in grief and guilt, subsisting on alcohol and drugs, not caring if he lives or dies.


But when a grieving mother asks Eduardo to paint a portrait of the man who killed her son, he finds himself drawn to the unusual commission. He alone understands her need to look deep into the soul of the man who changed her life forever, and he alone can help.


As Eduardo sets out to discover what it takes to know a killer, he is pulled deeper and deeper into Madrid’s criminal underworld, where mercenaries, prostitutes, murderers, and thieves are all entangled in a dangerous and deadly web, in which nothing, and no-one, are as they seem.

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The Heart Tastes Bitter Press Reviews

‘Victor del Arbol has a very important place in contemporary literature.’ El Mundo

‘Victor del Arbol’s books are, if not above, on the same level of authors such as Stieg Larsson.’ Mystery Tribune

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781925228441
Publication date: 13/10/2016
Publisher: Scribe Publications
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781925228441
Publication date: 13th October 2016
Author: Victor del Arbol
Publisher: Scribe Publications
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 432 pages
Genres: Crime / Mystery, Thriller / Suspense,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Thriller / suspense, Crime & mystery, Fiction in translation,

About Victor del Arbol

Victor del Arbol was born in Barcelona in 1968 and was an officer of the Catalan police force from 1992 to 2012. In 2006, he won the Tiflos Best Novel Award for his book, The Weight of the Dead, and his next novel, The Sadness of the Samurai, was awarded the 2011 Best European Crime Fiction Prize. His novels have been translated into a dozen languages, and in 2016 he was awarded the prestigious Premio Nadal literature award.

More About Victor del Arbol

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