Inspector Leo Caldas is best known for his radio show Patrol
on the Air, although very few of the calls are actual police
matters. One cryptic call seems to make no sense, however.
Luis Regosa, a professional musician, has been murdered in
a particularly brutal fashion. Police Inspector Leo Caldaas,
and his second, Rafael Estévez, are sent to the crime
scene. Within jazz clubs, the wealthy, and the work of forensics,
it is up to them to find the killer.
may appreciate that one of the two books on the victim's nightstand
is "The Terracotta Dog" by Andrea Camilleri, as
well as other authors. However, the method of death is if
unusual and particularly grim, especially for the victim—"This
is worthy of Caligula."
author creates a wonderful sense of atmosphere—"In
Galicia, however, swaths of green land gave way here and there
to rias of varying colours, shielded from the pounding of
the Atlantic by streamlined, white-sand islands." The
restaurant, "Eligio's" is just the sort of place
where one should love to dine --"...a small dish of beef
stewed on a low heat, with potatoes seasoned with olive oil
and a mixture of paprika and cayenne pepper, and a good portion
of scallop quiche..." and "The Grial" for classic
characters can make or break a book. Leo, Estévez,
and even Superintendent, make this book. No great buddies,
here. Leo and Estevez couldn't be more different, nor could
Estévez be more out of his element—'Is Estévez
with you?' 'Yes,' ratified Caldas. 'Shouldn't he have come?'
'He shouldn't have been born.' replied Soto and rang off.
It's the contrast of the two which makes them entertaining.
not mentioned in the story, Galicia is a unique area in the
northwest corner of Spain and has strong Celtic connections.
That does help to explain why Estévez, who came from
Argon, Zaragoza in northeastern Spain, felt so out of place--"To
Rafael Estévez's stern Aragonese mind, things were
this way or that, got done or didn't, so it was only with
considerable effort that he managed to decipher the ambiguous
expressions of his new fellow citizens. The interview of a
teenager by Estévez which follows is delightful.
humor is subtle and well done. Caldas is constantly being
recognized from the radio show which is something of a running
gag. Estévez’ encounter in the gay bar after
injuring his foot is visual and makes one laugh. Caldas is
an intriguing character about whom we learn a bit, but not
everything. One slight issue in other books which are translated,
is that while most of the text rings true, anger, or rage,
often comes across over the top.
it all, this truly is a book where procedure and forensic
details are not overlooked. The clues are revealed as the
mystery unfolds. "The most difficult cases were often
solved after a seemingly insignificant point was brought to
Eyes is a succinct, tightly plotted mystery with good
twists and an excellent red herring. The author's style is
intriguing and invites one to read more of his books.