“I am a sadistic author, I have a good time writing horrors” | Entertainment | The USA Print


The king of the French thriller, Bernard Minier (Béziers, 1960), has Spanish roots. The author’s mother under the ice and The circle He was born in Alto Aragón, near Graus, and immigrated to France at the age of eight with his grandmother in search of a better life. Now in his new novel, Lucy (Salamander), Minier –five million copies sold in France, translated into 27 languages– revisits its roots, but goes much further. Beyond geographically, because the plot of Lucy –triggered by the gloomy murder of a civil guard with crucifixion included– takes place between Alto Aragón, Segovia and Salamanca, a city in which he has just presented it to the Spanish press as he did a year ago with the French one: he wanted to set the scene for his new novel at one of the oldest universities on the continent and Oxford and Cambridge already had enough crime, he smiles. And on top of that, he discovered that the Castilian city is an open-air museum.

The civil guard Lucía Guerrero stars in a series that starts between Salamanca and Alto Aragón

But it also goes further literary because, leaving for the moment his usual investigator, Commander Martin Servaz, but not the macabre crimes, nor his investigation of evil, Minier has created a Spanish heroine who will star in a police series: the tough lieutenant Lucía Guerrero, from the central operational unit of the Civil Guard, the UCO, to which the murdered man also belongs.

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Lucía, together with a professor of criminology at the University of Salamanca, Salomón Borges, who has invented a computer program to detect common patterns in crimes, and with some of her students, will launch after the murderer when they discover, thanks to the program , who has killed before in the same macabre way, imitating Renaissance and Baroque paintings inspired by the harsh scenes of the Metamorphosis of Ovid, of which the protagonists will have to trace multiple editions in Salamanca.

Salomón Borges and the real students of Professor Fabián

“Here is Salomón Borges”, says Minier pointing to Eduardo Fabián, professor of Criminal Law at the University of Salamanca, who inspired, like his students and the librarians, the characters of Lucía: “Her students do not hunt serial killers, but my students would not have existed without coming here and meeting Eduardo and his students. Pure imagination does not exist, it is born from reality that transforms and makes something different, its own reality”.

“The Metamorphosis it is one of the most violent texts in literature”, says Minier. “There are rapes, murders, torture. Filomena is raped by her brother-in-law, who rips out her tongue to prevent her from telling her sister. The authors of crime novels stay far away. He not to go It begins with Medea, with Oedipus Rex, Antigone, with Cain and Abel, we have not invented anything, crime has been in literature since the first steps, since Gilgamesh”.

The French king of thrillers, Bernard Minier, in Salamanca

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And he remarks that the presence of evil in his novels is not only aesthetic: “I am a sadistic author, it is true that I have a good time writing horrors. But then the main theme that runs through my novels is evil. And it’s not just asking why it exists, but the different levels of evil. There’s absolute evil, a serial killer, but who’s to say he’s never done anything wrong? We all have. The question is how we react, what we do, what we learn from it, how we live with the presence of evil around us. These are themes that obsess me and always come back in my novels. Entertaining, but the question is obscure”. Childhood is another of the central themes of the book: “We never heal from childhood, it follows us all our lives, it is always here, it follows us until death,” he sums up.

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And of course, the other subject is Spain, a country to which, he remembers, he gave himself fascinated at the age of 20 in full move at a time, he remembers, of discovery, sex, drugs and rock and roll: “I lived the youth that got into politics like never before.” Today he says that the transformation of the country is enormous and that it functions as a mirror of so many issues in France. “Spain has many achievements, I would like my country to find out about that, but they already know it. When I speak of the University of Salamanca, of these students, of these faculties, one sees a country that is moving forward despite all the problems and crises. And above all I hope that in the end my novel can be read as if it had been written by a Spanish author, that is my goal, not as a French speaking about Spain. I want to be part of the Spanish black novel ”, he concludes.

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