The Whispering City by Sara Moliner

The Whispering City
Sara Moliner

Pegasus Books

Barcelona, 1952. General Franco’s autocratic rule is absolute. Those who favor the regime do well. Those labeled “Reds” lose their jobs, liberty and sometimes their lives.  

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“. . . evokes an atmosphere of suspicion and dark oppression . . .”

The police operate with thuggish brutality behind a modern facade. Women are suppressed to the point where smoking in public or driving a car is frowned upon. Everyone lives in fear of the informer and the merciless machinery of the state.

Young freelance journalist Ana Martí is keen to move beyond reporting on high society events and fashion for La Vanguardia newspaper. Her ambition is realized when her editor sends Ana to cover the murder of society hostess Mariona Sobrerroca. Attached to Inspector Isidro Castro, a tough cop with orders to solve the case quickly, Ana enlists the unofficial help of her cousin, the disgraced academic Beatriz Noguer. Together they find clues that point to the murderer and his motive. The case is resolved. Or is it?

Ana and Beatriz discover something in the evidence that doesn’t add up. There is more to the murder of Sobrerroca than meets the eye. Ana and Beatriz soon realize that powerful members of Barcelona society have good reasons to cover up wrongdoing that could lead to exposure and a fatal fall from grace. On the run and not knowing who to trust, Ana and Beatriz must find a way of exposing their shadowy enemies without falling foul of the oppressive regime.

In The Whispering City, Sara Moliner evokes an atmosphere of suspicion and dark oppression that runs as a theme throughout. Bright sparky Ana Martí and her sober and more sensible cousin Beatriz are fully-realized characters the reader will cheer on as they struggle with their world and its ways.


Reviewer: Cindy A. Matthews