“Hilarious, a literary Hellzapoppin.”—Matt Thorne
Dickens & Clot Investigations Ltd, a detective agency in a waterlogged Madrid, has a couple of unusual specialities: helping distraught authors in search of characters who’ve quit the page and assumed a life of their own, and taking on Manex Chopeitia, legendary Big Brother of a mighty genetic-engineering company. Carlos Clot—a paunchy, alcoholic private eye –gumshoes his way around a drug- and drink-sodden metropolis in a personal quest to put both ‘real’ and ‘fictional’ people in their place.
Born in Northern Spain in 1963, Rafael Reig studied philosophy and humanities in Madrid and later in New York. He lives in Madrid.
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Born in Asturias in 1963, Rafael Reig studied Philosophy and Humanities in Madrid and later in New York, where he wrote his PhD thesis on 19th-century literary depictions of the prostitute. Today Reig combines university teaching with his writing and editing activities. Blood on the Saddle is the first of his novels to be translated into English.From Publishers Weekly:
The first of Reig's acclaimed-in-Spain titles to be translated into English (and shortlisted for the Booker-like Premio Fundación Lara in 2003) is at its core a witty, thrill-a-minute detective story, but it ranges exhilaratingly across genres. The book opens with private eye Carlos Clot, hard-boiled but softhearted, being hired to sleuth out what's going on with three women: a teenage runaway; a wife whose husband suspects her of cuckolding him; and, most quirkily, a voluptuous bombshell character missing from the pages of a western novel-in-progress by an alcoholic bestselling author; without her, he has massive writer's block. SF elements creep in: the hyperkinetic novel is set in a vaguely futuristic Madrid, where mysteriously venal Manex Chopeitia heads a genetic-engineering firm that rules the city and, in some vague way, a U.S.-Iberian federation. Next, flashes of the classic western: Carlos's sidekick is laconic cowpoke Spunk McCain, another escapee from that novel-in-progress. Add romance: Carlos remains wistfully but hopelessly hung up on his ex-wife, but by story's end has fallen in love "like a schoolgirl. And with a schoolgirl." There really aren't enough elements of any one genre to satisfy purists, but readers of stylish metafiction should lock right in. (Apr.)
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