Open this book Off Side

Off Side

A Pepe Carvalho Mystery

Translated by Ed Emery

Part of Melville International Crime

Pepe Carvalho is set to retire. Content to live out the rest of his days enjoying the best food and wine Catalonia has to offer, his plans are put on hold when an executive from Barcelona’s world-famous soccer team pays him a visit. “The center forward will be killed at dusk,” reads the note the executive gives to Carvalho.

With that, the detective, former communist, and one-time employee of the CIA, must find out where this note is from. Is the threat real? Is it the work of one person? Or is it one of the real estate moguls tearing Barcelona apart in their battle over the most important properties of Catalonia?

Here Montalbán does for the game of soccer what he has done for food. In an exquisite portrait of Spain’s most beloved sport, soccer and politics mix in a gripping mystery about the reckless excesses—and limits—of power.

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Poet, playwright, essayist, and novelist MANUEL VÁZQUEZ MONTALBÁN (1939–2003) was one of modern Spain’s greatest writers. A politically active leftist as a young man, he was jailed under Franco for four years for supporting a miners’ strike. As an adult, he also became a gourmand, and wrote often about food. His Pepe Carvalho series—set in Montalbán’s native Barcelona—has won international acclaim, including the Planeta prize (1979) and the International Grand Prix de Littérature Policière (1981).

“Montalbán writes with authority and compassion — a Le Carré-like sorrow.” -- Publishers Weekly

“Montalbán is a writer who is caustic about the powerful and tender towards the oppressed.” – Times Literary Supplement

“A sharp observer of the high and the low …” —Detectives Beyond Borders

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