“I don’t think I will write anymore, my fantasy is gone”


The police saga of José María Guelbenzu, whose starring role is the judge Mariana de Marco, comes to an end after ten deliveries in twenty years

What emerged 21 years ago as a “distraction” from a creative stagnation finally consolidated in ten “mythical” police novels by the writer José María Guelbenzu (Madrid, aged 78). The launch of ‘Asesinato en el Jardín Botánico’ (Destiny), which the author presented yesterday during a breakfast in the same place, ends the story of investigating judge Mariana de Marco who started in 2001 with ‘Don’t harass the assassin’ ‘. Investigating the crime of a 40-year-old woman whose body seems to be hidden behind a royal palm, the series concludes with the famous judge, a former lawyer of strong character who has no shortage of a touch of delicacy. has. the same time.

After finishing dozens of novels already announced (one of them, ‘El Hermano Pequeño’, 2010 Torrente Ballester Prize), Guelbenzu says there are no pending projects for now. “I don’t know if I’ve lost my imagination, but I don’t think I’ll write anymore.” Except for a few stories that he wants to complete, the man from Madrid does not want to create more characters. “I’m tired,” he says ironically, referring to a certain discouragement. What he has promised is not to leave half stories behind.

The love for letters has migrated to plants. For this reason, the setting for his latest creation is the beautiful Madrid Botanical Garden. A privileged space created in the 18th century and located next to the Prado Museum, which Guelbenzu enjoys and where he spends many afternoons meditating. Although most of the research in the series takes place in the north of Spain, the author wanted to finish his last book in Madrid. “Novels have thought, but it shouldn’t be noticed,” he apologizes for his personal desire to surround the story with nature out of sheer affection for the botanist, “a place” full of life, for which you should not die.

At the beginning of the saga, he launched the story’s highest point in the opening paragraphs to keep the reader hooked. In the end, he chose to “be calm” and thus developed his work. A book of brushstrokes of manners and humor that begins calmly and ends in drama. The innovative element is the narration in two voices. “The usual judicial part in which I consider myself a good dialoger”, and the other journalistic perspective with a chronicle of the judge’s partner.

In 2001, when he was in a “literary traffic jam”, he decided to write another story as Escape, which became the book titled “Don’t Harass the Killer.” When the detective genre boomed in Spain, Guelbenzu wanted to have his own voice. But “when I finished, I realized I had wasted it,” he says. At that time, the side character, Mariana de Marco, had great creative potential and piqued the author’s interest. “He was worthy of being rescued and raised to the front line.” He had a new bet: showing the evolution of the old lawyer.

With little plot appeal, Guelbenzu has focused on the growth of this professional and how she mixes her personal life with lawsuits. According to the author, the genre has its rules: invite the reader to a game where he can be a detective for a while. Therefore, each of her works can be conceived individually, it is not necessary to know the judge from the beginning to “discover” her.

Twenty years ago, when the series started, “there were very few female police officers,” she recalls. This was the original contribution: to emphasize the ability to be in charge of important matters and to do it well. Tired of European crime and mystery novels for their lack of real connection to justice, his character firmly believes in the truth. “If I don’t achieve great works, at least I’ve pulled my skin out to try it,” he emphasizes.

The stories are not premeditated, they have been adapted over time, but always emphasize the strong character of this woman. However, he was always clear that there would be ten. “I chose the amount as a tribute to a Swedish couple (Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö) creators of the Martin Beck series, who inspired me with the fictional detective and his dozens of books,” he explains.

Though he was tempted to create a prequel, Guelbenzu believes it’s been enough to accompany Mariana de Marco for over 20 years, until she’s “reached the most compromising age in a woman’s life today.” : 50 years”.

Proud of the end, he emphasizes when asked that, despite the requests of the loyal readers, he will not return to his judge. In the release of the previous nine novels, it was common to hear her called a “friend”. But today: ‘I have nothing more to say about her, or about anyone; I will not give my soul,” he concludes.

Source: La Verdad


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