The Planeta Prize-winning novel from the author of the Petra Delicado series: "A highly literate noir, a powerful tale of lives spiraling out of control" (NB magazine).
Irene's husband has left her for a younger woman and her family business is on the verge of collapse, but the last thing she wants is to be the subject of gossip or pity. So she starts spending time with a divorcée who, in liberating herself from the bonds of marriage, has also freed herself from the clutches of the old crowd of "couple friends."
Javier is a literature teacher who suddenly loses his job at a Catholic school. He's not ambitious--the months go by and no work materializes. Then, almost by accident, he gets back in contact with a cocky friend from his youth who introduces him to the world of stripping and male prostitution.
Circumstance brings Irene and Javier together: he gets some extra cash and mental stimulation out of their relationship, and she finds an outlet for her frustrations. However, Irene doesn't want to have sex with him--she just wants to see him naked, humiliated, dominated. Their relationship takes a troubling turn, but things may be even more complicated than they seem.
Alicia Giménez-Bartlett weaves a tale of economic and personal devastation, portraying the ways that life's disappointments can bring people to do things they never would have imagined.
"Incendiary . . . This provocative dive into gender, power, and class uses diverse viewpoints to craft a powerful story and an unpredictable, memorable ending."--Publishers Weekly
"A stark realist portrait of characters who are searching for their place in a world without redemption."--Culturamas