Lawrence Silva | Writer
With ‘La llama de Focea’ the writer celebrates his happy silver anniversary with his Bevilacqua and Chamorro picoletos. «We teach young people that if they are the strongest they can crush the opposite without hesitation, and that is terrible»
Lorenzo Silva (Madrid, 1966) has spent twenty-five years telling us who we are through the eyes and minds of Civil Guard Second Lieutenant Rubén Bevilacqua and the Virginia Chamorro brigade. He owed Galicia a novel and paid off his debt with ‘La llama de Focea’ (Destiny). It is the thirteenth in the saga and takes place between the Camino de Santiago, where the brutal rape and murder of a young pilgrim, the daughter of a Catalan nationalist on the radar of Justice, and the burning Barcelona that faces «the failure of the ‘procés'” in the fall of 2019. It explores his connections with the Kremlin and denounces the “laundering” of Putin’s criminal plot in Europe.
The political and family rebellion and the legacy that we leave our children are core themes of a fast-paced story that largely compiles the previous twelve starring their efficient and brilliant picoletos. “It is the greatest trip to the bowels of Bevilacqua and its failures,” explains the writer in Samos, Lugo, near the place where the murder of Queralt Bonmatí took place, which launches the ‘perilary operation’ that investigates the Russian connections of his father. «When you literaturize failure and the ‘procés’ you say ‘look what hostion they have hit’. And Bevilacqua delves into the professional and vital failures that have built him, “explains Silva on a tour of towns such as O Cebreiro, Samos or Triacastela, in the heart of the Camino, along the banks of the Oribio river.
Lorenzo Silva on the Camino de Santiago. /
“I didn’t want to make a ‘procés’ novel, because I don’t know if it’s too late or too soon, but I do want to talk about the commotion it caused,” says Silva, who confronts the raging and burning Barcelona “turned into Fort Apache” after the failure of the ‘procés’ with that of the Olympic enthusiasm of 1992.
“I tell but I don’t judge”, warns the author, who reflects on “past mistakes”, on “the rebellion of children against their parents in search of their own path” and on “that insecure and contradictory flame that we come to the following generations”. And the analysis of him is disheartening. «We transmit few things to them, some poor wicks that do not go beyond immediate satisfaction and zero tolerance for adversity, so necessary in life».
The political legacy is also daunting. «In international and local politics, the impulse to crush the dissenting, whether from the left or the right, to the independentist Catalonia or to annihilate the annoying neighbor who does not submit to his vassalage prevails, which is what Putin does with Ukraine ». “We teach young people that if you are stronger than the other, then crush him without hesitation, and that is terrible,” he hurts.
«El Gordo touched me»
The witness that passes from one generation to another is symbolized in the Olympic flame that arrived in Barcelona in 1992, where Bevilacqua began his career. The same flame that, according to Herodotus, once left the remote and lost city of Focea, in the eastern confines of the Mediterranean, to reach the Catalan coast from the polis and establish in Ampurias, Gerona, the first Greek settlement in Spain. , the origin of Catalonia.
Three millennia later, money from organized crime connected to Putin’s Kremlin, who showed his paw in the ‘procés’, flows through Europe. “Our economy is drug dependent on criminal money that corrupts it. For twenty years all of Europe has laundered the black money from Putin’s criminal plot that he entangled in Catalonia. Here we have given facilities to access residence and nationality to those who made investments of 500,000 euros, and now we are tearing our hair out », he denounces.
Silva is well aware that his worthy characters have been a blessing. «I have always written what I wanted and with complete freedom. I am well aware that with a character like Bevilacqua I got Fat, “congratulates the writer, who sold more than 100,000 copies of ‘El mal de Corcira’ and now celebrates his happy silver anniversary with the couple.
Lorenzo Silva in the places where his new novel took place /
He says he has “learned a lot” from his duo of civil guards, and clarifies that neither he nor the second lieutenant intends to retire or end the saga. At least three other novels boil in his head. “I don’t have a closed plan. I’ve been writing Bevilacqua and Chamorro for 27 years and 24 publishing them,” he says of a series that started in 1998 with ‘The country of the ponds’ but which had been around him since 1994. “Spanish society has evolved unpredictably over the years and that’s what I’m interested in. With each novel I deal cards and I have a pretty good time. I have been free and happy and I want it to last », he says.
Among the advances, she cites the greater presence of women in all spheres, which she reflects in her novel, and among the setbacks, “the loss of the solid and reasonable consensus that we had built on differences.” “That impoverishes us and has made us move forward with several sticks in the wheels for years,” she laments. “There are a lot of closed-room ideologies that fall apart when the windows open,” she says.
Silva reiterates that we will never see the Chamorro brigade and Second Lieutenant Bevilacqua, who refuses to be promoted, bedridden. “I was never tempted to do it. I must be very bland. I’m more interested in his complicity than sexual tension », says the writer. He brings his couple closer to that of Don Quixote and Sancho, “who know each other perfectly and make up for their respective shortcomings.” “Accomplices yes, lovers no,” he concludes, admitting that a love story between the two would have ended the saga.
In ‘La llama de Focea’ we see how Bevilacqua’s son, Andrés, advances in his career as a Civil Guard. He gets married to another agent and his father worries about the future of a son and a possible daughter-in-law in his worthy body.
«In the police I feel the dichotomy between the mystery and the enigma, which interests me less and less. The most mysterious part, the murderer’s reasons, seduce me more and more”, says Silva, who pays homage to the late Galician writer, friend and master of crime novel Domingo Villar and returns to a Galicia he knows well, since he worked as lawyer for Unión Fenosa.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.