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On a summer day at the arcade, timid sixteen-year-old Ignacio Cañas encounters two charismatic rebels: El Zarco ("Blue Eyes") and his gorgeous girl, Tere. Entranced, he crosses the border into their dangerous world, becoming their partner in crimes that quickly escalate.
Twenty-five years later, Tere materializes in Cañas's office, needing help. Cañas has settled back into middle-class life, becoming a successful defense lawyer. Zarco has matured into a convict of some infamy. Yet somehow, with new stakes, this three-way affair will begin again.
With his usual brio, Javier Cercas surveys the borders between right and wrong, respectability and criminality, and to what extent we can pass between them—or determine on which side we ultimately fall. This brilliantly plotted tale firmly establishes him as one of the most rewarding novelists writing today.
Javier Cercas’s books, including The Anatomy of a Moment and Soldiers of Salamis, have won numerous awards, sold more than a million copies worldwide, and been translated into more than twenty languages. He lives in Barcelona.
Anne McLean is an acclaimed translator. Her translation of Cercas’s Soldiers of Salamis won both the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and the Valle Inclán award. She lives in Toronto.