Los bosques imantados

The magnetised forests | Seix Barral, 2016

A razor-sharp critique of the way information can be twisted, a look at the fascination held by paranormal phenomena and the need to put faith and belief to the test. In finely-honed, elegant prose, Juan Vico (“one of Spain’s most promising young writers”) has penned a fascinating account of a mystery, filled with nods to avid readers. 

France, 1870. The forest of Samiel plays host to a gathering of curious onlookers, staunch believers, mediums and wizards in their hundreds, together with a group of reporters who have descended from Paris looking to cover the strange phenomena that lie in wait. Locusto, an enigmatic expert in the dark arts, has announced his appearance in the forest, coinciding with the lunar eclipse due to take place in Samiel that very night and which is all set to unleash mighty forces. Two unexpected events, the desecration of a church and a murder, will test the mettle of Victor Blum, a journalist immersed in a personal crusade against swindlers and con artists.

Set at a time when spiritualism was in full swing, this novel sets science and reason on a direct collision course with inexplicable events and the superstitious frenzy whipped up by traders and the local powers-that-be.