Insomnia, by Daniel Martín Serrano. Review

Insomnia is the first solo novel by Daniel Martin Serrano, but this Madrilenian has a lot of fiction behind him with a twenty-year career being series scriptwriter Be Central HospitalVelvet, El PríncipeHigh seas. He is a professor of Television Script at the Madrid Film School and has now launched himself with this black genre title that is achieving general success among readers and critics. AND for me has been one of this year's books. This is my review which, fortunately, I was able to share with the author at the last Madrid Book Fair.

Insomnia - Review

Thomas Abad

Former Inspector Tomás Abad suffers from insomnia chronic and, more than that, overwhelming. And when you get to the last page of the novel, you too think you've caught his exhaustion and anguish. In addition, the narration of its history has not given you respite, and such is the degree of stress and darkness the one who suffers for his present and his past that you thank with relief their rest, Nonetheless.

The fact is that Tomás it was going well in the police, he was a excellent professional with an efficient team around and its Personal life It worked too, with a quiet marriage but with a son whom she barely saw because of that absorbing job. But that work becomes obsessive when they start to appear bodies of young beheaded that will pile up in a macabre puzzle.

Then find out that there is someone very close to him who is involved and it seems more than guilty. That will be your mistake, because terrible decision what it takes to protect him will be the cause of his expulsion, ostracism and rejection by a good part of society. From there to down to hell produced by insomnia, guilt and more obsession when, in the present, while trying to survive with security guard night in a parking and then in the immense cemetery de la Almudena, someone lets you know that the nightmare is not over.

Two times

One of the successes of the novel is to make us go through two narrative times which are also shown in the use of language in the present —For the current— and in the past —To tell us what happened and how we got to that present. The point is that the same story, or both, run in parallel with a time so perfectly measured that it shows the undoubted trade of the author as screenwriter. And it does it so well that even for readers not very fond of the present narrative, as is my case, it doesn't squeak at all.

They also help good dialogues and a rosary of characters secondary so well built as the protagonist. Tomás will recover some of them, who will try to help him, like his old partner, and will also get new allies. But no one will be able to prevent his life from sinking more and more, losing his family and almost losing his mind.


Another strong point is the setting so in keeping with the gloomy, ghostly and almost perpetually nocturnal tone in a Madrid very seldom described with so many darkness. In addition, the parking lot and cemetery settings further promote this feeling of unreality that Abad has. He just wants to solve the case and sleep, because he has enough to atone for the great guilt that torments him suffering from such devastating insomnia.

A but

Although for putting it on and very relative or, at least, very mine, let's say by professional default as a proofreader first and then as a reader: paragraphs too long, many on one page. But what has been said, the narrative tempo is so successful that they forgive each other.


That Daniel Martín Serrano has not been able to make his debut better in the narrative, coming from such a different, changing and immediate genre as the script is. Good story, good structure and an ending as the canons dictate and that leaves you with that flavor that is so often appreciated in this genre.

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