by Toby Green
4 CITIES, 4 LIVES, 1 CRIME – In Madrid, an Argentinian bookseller gets caught up in the scheme of an American professor to prevent an appalling crime. Her sidekicks soon include a Gambian migrant in Paris and a Spanish waitress in London. Seeking some sort of companionship in their exiles, the four characters join forces in a quest that becomes a dangerous obsession. All four lives seem to be fatefully connected. But how to get people to take the crime seriously if it does not yet exist? In Buenos Aires, the criminals are remorselessly pursued. They cross paths with a Nigerian judge, the wife of one of General Franco’s thugs, a caretaker to the wealthy, and Peter Halbtsen, an expert in Chinese culture. It is early March 2004. Halbtsen has spent years deciphering a book which may hold the key to the mystery. But where is the crime? Who is the criminal? And can anything be done to prevent humanity from reaping the whirlwind?