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José C. Vales

250 pages

Georges Miet used to write short stories for the french publishing house La Fortune, until the day his editor asked him for a more "serious" novel about tragic events that had shocked the vibrant Biarritz fifteen years ago, in 1925, during summer season: after a stormy night the dead body of a local young woman was found chained to a shackle in the docks. Georges Miet goes there to interview everyone who was or might have been involved with the victim, no matter their social status or personal background. Each one of these testimonies shed new light on the murder. At some point Miet finds out that the police alongside the judge tried to get rid of the case, whose facts were disclosed thanks to the investigation conducted by journalist Paul Villequeau, photographer Galet and Villequeau's old flame, the beautiful Beatrix Ross.

Halfway through a chronicle and a novel, the enjoyable, polyphonic and flamboyant Cabaret Biarritz puts together a crime solving situation and the portrait of an agitated society, where social standards and the celebratory spirit of the time collide.

The Premio Nadal, the oldest literary prize and one of the most prestigious in Spain, has rewarded so far the best Spanish writers since 1944: Carmen Laforet, Miguel Delibes, Carmen Martín Gaite, Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio and Ana María Matute among others.

Vales, which was submitted to the contest under the pseudonym of Gavroche, recreates in this story the investigation of a writer, George Miet, commissioned by his publisher about the discovery in 1925 of a dead girl. The interviews with every eyewitnesses of that time and the portraits of these bizarre, surprising and eccentric characters form the pages of this fantastic novel set in the prosperous Biarritz, known for its unprecedented economic prosperity, the evolution of jazz music, flapper culture, the raise of drugs consuming and other criminal activity. "It is a novel that takes place during the holiday season and in which the glamorous parties of the 20’s, pornography and cocaine mix" explained the author. "The characters are brave and appreciate the freedom and passion”.