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The Crimes of Hector Tomás

This is an epic novel — both the physical size of it, and its ability to induce traumatic nightmares — about disappearance and deception, family and nation. Exiled by his parents to the isolated countryside, Hector is accused of terrorism — a crime of which he is innocent, yet ruthlessly punished. As he tries desperately to extricate himself from the violence perpetrated by a brutal political regime, he realizes that freedom can only come at a terrible price. It’s one of those books you have to take breaks from in order to regain some sense of calm and morality.

My first comp anchors the title on two levels potentially: as a tally of crimes committed by Hector Tomás, or as scratches in a cell wall where someone is being held and tortured.

The second, which you will see on shelves this September, hides eerie scenes behind letters, obscuring a medley of images relating to violence, male and female figures, and trains.