Intimate Enemy (Enemiga íntima)

Una novia virtual, una estafa y un crimen.

On June 8, 2019, firefighters found the charred body of a man in his home in Vilanova i la Geltrú, Barcelona. But it wasn’t the fire that killed him. A few hours later, his son Ismael confessed to the Mossos d’Esquadra that he was the author of the crime. “I haven’t seen any other solution and I had to kill my father. I stabbed him in the back with a knife.”

The case seemed solved, until an unexpected turn changed everything. Ismael Molina was a 21-year-old young man in love with an illusion. Her name was Julia, and they had met online. They maintained a relationship for a year, and she even told him that she had had two children with him through artificial insemination. However, the person behind this fictitious persona was actually Alba Andreu, one of Ismael’s closest friends.

Alba invented various characters and unreal stories to manipulate Ismael. For example, she claimed to belong to a group of Mossos d’Esquadra fighting against drug trafficking and human trafficking. None of it was true, and Ismael, in a paranoid psychotic episode, ended up killing his father, supposedly because Alba made him believe that he was part of the mafia gang he was supposedly fighting against.


RELEVANT DATA: Susana Peix, the author of this novel based on real events, lived in the same neighborhood where everything happened, and her son attended the same school as Ismael. She decided to contact him and tell the story from his perspective to understand the mechanisms of this tragedy, to raise awareness about the dangers of untreated mental illnesses, and the manipulations that can be perpetrated through social media.

Ismael’s mental health condition is a bout of paranoid schizophrenia. However, he had never shown any signs of disorder or needed professional help in his childhood or adolescence.

The prosecution requested Ismael’s acquittal and his admission to a psychiatric facility for 29 years, while Alba was acquitted in the first instance. The jury ruled that she did not have sufficient mental capacity to brainwash Ismael, and that it was the young man’s own delusions that triggered a schizophrenic episode, leading him to commit the crime.


The readers have said:

“There are real stories that seem so invented that a novelist could never write them.” – Marta Robles, journalist.

“Intimate Enemy” is a chilling case study that immerses the reader in a labyrinth of manipulation, lies, and tragedy. – Babelio.

“You can’t stop reading. Unbelievable but true.” – Amazon.


AUDIOVISUAL POTENTIAL: TV Series, Miniseries, Film, TV Movie.


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