The Barcelona Brothers
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A gritty noir set in Barcelona's savage underbelly.
Epi Dalmau is a desperate man. Early one morning, he carries a duffle bag into a dingy bar in a rough neighborhood of Barcelona. Four other people are in the bar: his brother Alex, his good friend Tanveer, the bartender, and a Pakistani man who wandered in to use the restroom. Epi grabs a hammer out of his duffle bag and attacks Tanveer. After a brief struggle and a couple of blows, Tanveer lies dead on the floor and Epi flees the bar.
Alex and the bartender plan to find and protect Epi, while blaming the murder on the unfortunate Pakistani man, who was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Meanwhile, Epi is hunting for Tiffany, the woman of his dreams and the reason behind the murder. What he'll do when he finds her, and what drove him to brutal violence are the subjects of Carlos Zanón's gritty, unflinching novel, set in a city tourists never see.
The Barcelona Brothers is a hard look at what people are capable of when they have no other options, and a portrait of a modern, multicultural Barcelona.
knows? “Yes, hello …” “Hello, who’s this?” “You’re the caller. Identify yourself.” “Listen …” “You’re calling the district police station.” “Ah, hello.” With dizzying speed, Alex seems to understand and take fright at the same time. “I was there this morning, and I think I left my cell phone, and—” “A black Sharp?” “Yes, of course, the one I’m calling.” “You left it at the security desk. You can drop by and pick it up whenever you want.” As he hangs up, Alex clearly recalls leaving the
ever ordered him to do something and he’s done it. The beast manages to climb up into the back of the van when it begins to pick up speed. Epi can’t make the van start, but dead engine and all, they glide down the slopes that descend to the city, go through miraculously green traffic lights, circle roundabouts like bright deserts of gray asphalt. At Epi’s side, Tanveer laughs like a man possessed. In the end, Epi laughs, too. He no longer remembers striking that woman in the street, that bundle
heard. I’ve also heard the cops found Tanveer inside the van, whacked by one of the girl’s pimps. You know how that goes. Talking’s free.” “Allawi, look, I don’t know anything. Really.” Alex has a practically definitive feeling that he can confide in the barber. Besides, he needs to get his ideas out in the open, out of just his own head, and Allawi has always seemed to be a very clear-sighted guy. But at the same time, Alex isn’t about to show all his cards. “Let’s say I’m going to find Epi and
many times when she wished him out of her life forever, when she wished he’d get killed or go back to his own country, if indeed he had any country other than these streets. She’s had the feeling it was all over so often she can’t take in the idea that it is, that it’s come to a sudden, unexpected end. What’s left for her now? Epi’s still breathing deeply—snoring, in fact—with his mouth open. What’s she waiting for? Pick up the keys and get out of here, an inner voice commands her. Her hand
backward. Contempt and fear, in equal measure, show in her eyes. “What’s up? You’re not going to bump with me, Percy? You don’t want to bump with me? You don’t want us to be friends? Is that it? Are we going to stay mad?” “He’s scared, Epi, and—” “Please be quiet, Miss. This is strictly between men. No women allowed, right, Percy?” The guy’s not well. Never has been. Tiffany now sees this clearly. He’s always been like a soda pop, always getting shaken up one way or another, and now he’s