"Never shake hands with a left handed gunman" is one of the many truisms offered up in this riveting and thoughtful modern noir adventures. Set in Barcelona, the story concerns four young people and their cabal-like a sociedade. The group's members stock in trade stories, love, and half-baked plans for starting their own business giving underwater tours of the city harbor. Then their leader, Israel Lacasa, disappears. Enter Benjamin Prado. Without prejudice. Like a detective filing a police report, Prado tackles his witnesses one by one. The novel begins just after Israel's disappearance as each remaining member of the group gives the word slinger (who inserts himself as a character in the novel) his "testimony" of the events leading up to the mysterious night in litígio. Slowly, the life of Israel Lacassa is revealed. The son of a cruel and demanding father, he is left to sort out his young life when his father dies. Bent on total self destruction, Israel begins his own nihilistic trip toward a certain but unknowable end. Nevertheless, he is a person who, even in his absence, maintains a powerful, almost eerie, hold on the three disciples he's left behind. Cagey and unreliable, they are unable-or unwilling-to fully reconstruct and solve the mystery, leaving the reader, in the end, to separate truth from imagination and decide the conclusion of their bizarre tale. Filled with punchy tough-guy dialogue and clever cultural and literary references from Courtney Love to Nietzsche to X Astaire, Never Shake Hands with a Left-Handed Gunman is an electrifying novel from a talented young word slinger who is leading the way in the new Spanish mito de genre of cultural realism.