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Synopsis

When I opened the door of the flat there was a picture postcard lying in the hallway. It showed a reproduction of a painting by Joan Miró. I turned the card over. Neatly written, in green ink, was what appeared to be a date and time: 20 May–11:00. There was no explanatory message, no indication of who had written the card. The printed details told me that the reproduction was entitled “Woman of the Night.” The painting could be found at the Miró Foundation. May 20 was the next day.


Lucas, a musician and translator living in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, comes home one day to find this cryptic invitation. When he appears at the appointed time, he sets in motion a series of bizarre, seemingly interconnected events that disrupt his previously passive existence. He meets the alluring Nuria and they begin an intense love affair. He is approached by a band of Barcelona’s mythic roof dwellers and has a run-in with a fire-eating prophet.

But when he and Nuria are kidnapped by a religious cult with roots stretching back to the thirteenth-century, Lucas realizes that his life is spinning out of control. The cult’s megalomaniac leader, Pontneuf, maintains that Nuria and Lucas are essential to his plan to revive the religion. While Nuria is surprisingly open to Pontneuf and his theories, Lucas is outraged and makes his escape. Back in Barcelona, Lucas wanders the streets in a drug-and-alcohol induced haze, pining for Nuria and struggling to make sense of what happened to him. He recounts his improbable adventures to his friends, who are wholly entertained by the story and deeply dubious of its truth, an understandable skepticism as Lucas fast becomes the quintessential unreliable narrator.


With the alluring and enchanting Barcelona as a vibrant backdrop, The Color of a Dog Running Away is a love story, tale of adventure and historical thriller all rolled into one unforgettable and mesmerizing package; a novel that will beguile and disturb in equal measure.

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    Thirty-three-year-old Lucas has his life turned upside down from his usual expat exploits in Barcelona when he receives a mysterious postcard under his door. With it come romantic love, a cult, roof dwellers, a fire-eater, and much more. I loved certain parts of this book and groaned at others. And what’s with the manuscript that the man in the green suit gives him? Yawn. Was Gwyn in need of extra pages?

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