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El juego de morirse, Sandra Martínez-Raguso

This novel is very special because it was written by one of my former colleagues, Sandra Martínez-Ragusa. Aside from being a fantastic Spanish teacher, after reading her book, I can say she is also a gifted writer. I devoured this novel in just a couple of days while on holiday. The cover itself suggests that this book is about sex and pleasure. But it’s about a murder mystery and the dynamics between the victim and her friends. Although throughout the novel, we got to learn about the 4 main characters (Silvia, Alicia, Max, and Javi), all signs were pointing to Max as the murderer. But as we know, in murder mysteries, very few suspects are actually the guilty party. The same applies to this novel. We actually don’t see the murder scene until the last few pages of the novel, when the entire moment is described in both the third person and the second person.

The timeline of the book is not linear - it jumps between past and present seamlessly. If anything, it’s circular because it helps us understand not only the protagonists and their story but both the beginning and the end of the book. This all occurs swiftly in just over 200 pages. That’s another positive attribute of this book - the author does a great job of setting the scene without overly describing it. I really admire writers who are succinct and don’t waste pages and pages of unnecessary narration.

As this novel is short, it makes it ideal for any advanced Spanish student or speaker. However, given the nature of the novel and the erotic parts, I would not feel comfortable recommending it to anyone under 18 years old minimum. But I absolutely loved this book and would gladly suggest it to any adult reader.

If you’re looking to purchase it outside of Spain and you can’t find it on Amazon, try Casa de Libro. There aren’t many copies of this novel so it’s worth researching where and how to buy it. There sadly isn’t an English translation, so this is only for Spanish speakers. If you love to read about relationships, passion, and mystery, then this novel is for you!



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