The first book I finished this summer and also the first Reverte I ever read is La tabla de Flandes. Art, history, chess, and a mystery all come together in this brilliant novel. Maybe the characters are a little stereotypical; I would have liked to know more details about Julia’s character and past, instead of having to deal with her smoking habits. “She lighted a sigaret” is just a line filler; if it doesn’t have any relevance to the story, it could’ve been left out to make place for some more interesting information.
The outcome of the story is a big surprise, nobody can argue about that. I devoured the last chapters without stopping, just to know all the details about the master plan of the killer. The very ending seemed a little as if the author thought a lot about the story, but not about what had to come after that. We can only imagine how it could’ve been different.
I often looked up the drawings of the chess board to imagine how the game went, and to understand the psychological meaning of the chess pieces and their movements as Muñoz describes them.
I don’t usually like mystery novels, but I like art, and I like chess, and I like thinking, and the combination of all of those made me really interesting in reading the book. I didn’t regret it. Reverte is a great writer as well as a great storyteller and I look forward to reading more of his books.