jueves, 19 de septiembre de 2019

Sin rastro


Casada con un poderoso hombre de negocios neoyorquino, Audra Kinney ha reunido las fuerzas suficientes para dejar atrás una vida aparentemente acomodada pero marcada por el maltrato psicológico de su marido. Con sus hijos Sean y Louise, de once y seis años, Audra ha recorrido miles de kilómetros a través de carreteras secundarias con la intención de comenzar una nueva vida en California. Y ahora, frente a los escarpados paisajes de la desértica Arizona, siente que puede volver a respirar, que han dejado atrás el pasado y el peligro. Sin embargo, poco antes de llegar al pueblecito de Silver Water, el sheriff del condado de Elder la detiene por una presunta infracción de tráfico. Y las cosas se complican cuando en el maletero aparece una bolsa con un alijo de drogas. Audra tiene que dejar que la ayudante del sheriff se haga cargo de los niños, mientras éste la conduce a comisaría y la encierra en una celda a la espera del juicio. Pero cuando menciona a los pequeños, todo el mundo se sorprende. Según ella, el policía los ha secuestrado; según él, no había niños en el coche. Es la palabra de una fugitiva contra la de un agente con décadas de servicio y un expediente intachable, así que, a pesar de la intervención del FBI, el linchamiento mediático y social de Audra es inmediato e imparable. Hasta que Danny Lee, un detective privado con una historia personal muy parecida a la de Audra, decide entrar en acción.


Cuando una prima mía, Sara, me vio en la piscina leyendo embobado Sin rastro, de Haylen Beck, me dijo que parecía el argumento de una película de sobremesa de Antena 3, de esas en las que uno no para de menear la cabeza y de asombrarse por su trama impredecible, pero que no puede dejar de ver. Tenía razón y, en cierto modo, era un cumplido. El texto de la faja dice así: una madre desesperada, un sheriff despiadado y dos niños desaparecidos. El pasado siempre vuelve. Y este thriller policial publicado por Salamandra dentro de su colección Black tiene todo lo que se le pide a un thriller policial: que tenga un arranque que actúe de anzuelo, que no puedas cerrar el libro, que no tengas ni idea de cómo va a terminar la trama.
             La historia es la siguiente: una mujer va en coche con sus dos hijos pequeños por una carretera comarcal. Ella acaba de divorciarse de un exitoso y riquérrimo empresario. La policía la detiene y, durante el registro del coche, encuentran una bolsa de marihuana que ella jura y perjura que no es suya. Los agentes, evidentemente, no la creen y la llevan a comisaría, la encierran en el calabozo. Poco después, cuando ella pregunta que dónde están sus hijos, un policía le responde: ¿Qué hijos? Usted iba sola en el coche”. Y esta respuesta –este puñado de palabras- es la que desencadena la trama y la que engancha definitivamente al lector. Sin rastro es una prueba de que el ochenta por ciento de estos thrillers se sustenta en el planteamiento, en sugerir un paisaje lo suficientemente interesante como para que el lector no pueda desviar la mirada. Y lo cierto es que este planteamiento tiene todo para hacer que nos rindamos. Y a partir de ahí, la trama se desarrolla con solvencia, aguardando varios giros de guion interesantes, varias situaciones curiosas, donde lo único que importa es saber dónde están esos niños y por qué han desaparecido. Y, a pesar de ser una historia de ficción, el desarrollo tiene la virtud de hacernos ver (o de hacernos creer) que los responsables –los retorcidos, los malvados- están entre nosotros. El mal es un mal real, casi tangible.  
             Sin rastro sigue a rajatabla los cánones de la novela negra y sabe cuál es su prioridad: la intriga, la dosificación del misterio, ser impredecible. Y eso es lo que hace: lo supedita todo –los personales, el estilo, los diálogos- a mantener al espectador en vilo, a que caiga en la tentación de leer un capítulo más. Y nosotros, como lectores, le perdonamos las generalizaciones y que los diálogos no estén del todo trabajados o que los personajes estén dibujados a trazos grandes. Da igual. La novela funciona y lo hace porque tiene claro su propósito: poner nervioso al que lee.
            Sin rastro puede que sea el equivalente literario a una película de Antena 3 de la sobremesa, de ésas a la que uno sólo le pide que lo entretenga, que lo enganche, que no le deje levantarse del sofá. Y es eso lo que cumple esta novela, una de las últimas apuestas de la división de novela negra de Salamandra, que tiene uno de los planteamientos más originales de los que recuerdo. Y reconozcámoslo, a veces, a los lectores nos apetece una historia así, de las que nos dejan sin aliento, de las que se leen casi sin esfuerzo. De las que no te dejan dormir por las noches 

101 comentarios:

  1. Hola,

    no me había fijado en esta novela y mira que me gusta la colección Black de Salamandra; después de leer tu reseña creo que me lo voy a pensar porque parece un libro a tener en cuenta.

    Un beso

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  2. Ni siquiera sabía que Salamandra tenía un sello de novela negra jajaja No conocía el título y no creo que entre en mi lista de prioridades, pero no descarto leerlo ahora que me estoy aficionando al género.

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  3. Hola! Siendo negra y si esta bien contada puede engancharme.gracias! Saludosbuhos y buena semana.

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