|THE INVISIBLE GUARDIAN
Dolores Redondo (www.doloresredondomeira.com)
Translated by Isabelle Kaufeler
To celebrate the paperback release of Dolores Redondo’s The Invisible Guardian, the first book in The Baztán Trilogy, we here at Reader Dad are very happy to be part of the Blog Tour. Below, you’ll find a brief extract from the novel. Check back later to see my review of the novel.
Amaia was pleased to see that everyone present was respecting the entry point that the first officers on the scene had established. Even so, as always, it seemed to her that there were just too many people. It was almost absurd, and it may have been something to do with her Catholic upbringing, but whenever she had to deal with a corpse, she always felt a pressing need for that sense of intimacy and devotion she experienced in a cemetery. It seemed as though this was violated by the distant and impersonal professional presence of the people moving around the body. It was the sole subject of a murderer’s work of art, but it lay there mute and silenced, its innate horror disregarded.
She went over slowly, observing the place someone had chosen for the death. A beach of rounded grey stones, no doubt carried there by the previous spring’s floods, had formed beside the river, a dry strip about nine metres wide that extended as far as she could see in the gloomy pre-dawn light. A deep wood, which got denser further in, grew right up to the other bank of the river, which was only about four metres wide. Amaia waited for a few seconds while the technician from the forensics team finished taking photographs of the corpse, then she went over to stand at the girl’s feet. As was her custom, she emptied her mind of all thoughts, looked at the body lying beside the river and murmured a brief prayer. Only then did Amaia feel ready to look at the girl’s body as the work of a murderer. A pretty brown colour in life, Ainhoa Elizasu’s eyes now stared into endless space, frozen in an expression of surprise. Her head was tilted back slightly and it was just possible to make out part of the coarse string buried so deep in the flesh of her neck it had almost disappeared. Amaia leant over the body to look at the ligature.
‘It’s not even knotted, the killer just pulled it tight until the girl stopped breathing,’ she said softly, almost to herself.
‘It would take some strength to do that,’ observed Jonan from behind her. ‘Do you think we’re looking for a man?’
‘It seems likely, although the girl’s not that tall, only five foot one or so, and she’s very thin. It could have been a woman.’
Dr San Martín, who’d been chatting with the judge and the court clerk accompanying her until this point, bade her a rather flowery farewell and came over to the body.