The Heart Tastes Bitter (Respirar por la herida)

 What would you do? Would you seek revenge?

Eduardo Quintana’s life stopped making sense 12 years ago, when his wife and daughter were killed in a hit-and-run car accident. Since that day, Eduardo decided to go after the driver seeking revenge. Now that Eduardo is out of prison, he lives a tormented life full of alcohol and drugs and he makes his living by painting commissioned portraits.

Success and fame have ceased to have any meaning for him, until a famous cellist, Gloria Tagger, commissions him the strangest job he has ever had to face: to paint the portrait of the businessman who murdered Gloria´s son. She tells him that this is to get to know his soul, to know if he is remorseful, and to understand what he feels after committing such an atrocity.

Accepting this challenge triggers Eduardo´s feelings… those that he had kept hidden for so many years. He has finally regained his will to live, but it also brings him into a world of unhealed wounds: an art dealer, a filmmaker, a director of a large company, a neighbor in search of love, a girl with communication difficulties, and a delinquent who dreams of his missing daughter. What begins as an exploration through art becomes a descent into hell in which child pornography, the Algerian war, the loneliness of big cities and the pain of truth (or the need to keep quiet in order to protect our own) are at the forefront of the characters´ lives.

Each of the characters weave their own story, and although they seem to be happening parallel to each other, they end up unifying into a large spider’s web.


RELEVANT DATA: The Heart Tastes Bitter is a great international success published in more than a dozen countries. Victor del Árbol is the great writer titled the Man of the Order of Arts and Letters (by the French Ministry of Culture) of the crime novel, and his style is highly acclaimed by critics and readers. It has even been said that his novels go beyond the classic codes of the thriller. Critics highlight “an incredibly constructed thriller that maintains suspense until the very last moment”. Some have even seen some intertextuality with Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, and even with Edvard Munch’s painting The Scream.

Among his many distinctions, he has received the Nadal Award, the Tormo Negro of Crime Novels Award, the Quercy Noir Award, the Prix du Polar Européen for best noir novel, the Fernando Lara Award and the Tiflos of Novels Award.


Critics have said: “There is a Spanish author who can stand up to the Scandinavian crime novel: Víctor del Árbol”.


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

LANGUAGES AVAILABLE: Spanish, English, French, Russian and Polish.

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