Murcia, España, 1973

Santiago Álvarez has lived in Valencia since 2001. He is the contents director of the crime fiction festival Valencia Negra. He began his literary career writing short stories, many of which have earned him awards in various contests. He has written, starred in and directed musicals and plays, and has also recorded various albums with a range of groups and bands. Álvarez has taught in many workshops on creative writing and is the first teacher in Spain to work with the writer’s software Scrivener. La Ciudad de la Memoria is his first novel.

Bibliography

Novel

"En marzo, Valencia arde con las Fallas". El fuego, la pasión y la fiesta se adueñan por completo de la ciudad. Entretanto, las cosas no han ido a mejor en los últimos tiempos para el singular detective Mejías: los clientes escasean, los recibos se agolpan en su mesa y, para colmo, recibe una notificación de Hacienda, que le hará cerrar su agencia el 20 de marzo, justo a la vuelta de Fallas. Tiene hasta entonces para reunir los 40.000 euros que nunca ha tenido.

Pasada la primera mascletá del 1 de marzo, Mejías y Berta, su joven e inseparable ayudante, son citados de forma misteriosa por Gaspar Aparisi, empresario que les propone una búsqueda descabellada: encontrar los restos del único whisky producido en tierras valencianas, hace ya doscientos años. Mejías quiere rechazar el encargo, pero la recompensa es precisamente el dinero que necesita... La investigación le conducirá al corazón de la fiesta fallera, reflejo de una sociedad que esconde más de lo que muestra. Las raíces del asunto se hunden en el fango del pasado, en escenarios sepultados por la culpa, el dolor y el odio. 

Berta Valero, a young journalism student, starts working as private detective Vicente Mejías’ assistant, secretary and chauffeur. From the beginning, Berta realises that her new boss is not a conventional investigator. Mejías lives in a noir dream, a universe of detective movies and crime novels: Olivetti typewriters, Laphroaig whiskey, and an old record player playing jazz classics.

At first, Berta’s first case with her quirky boss seems quite unremarkable: Valencia’s richest entrepreneur’s pet has gone missing. However, they soon unravel a web of family confrontations, love, jealousy, murder and betrayal dating back to events from the past.

From one day to the next, Berta’s life is endangered and she must trust that Mejías, with his old trench coat and hardboiled Bogart-style ways, will behave like a true detective in real life.

Prizes