Love in Madrid: The Horror Story of Millions of Women is a novel set in modern-day Spain that tells the disturbing and graphic story of two sisters’ love lives combined with the author’s psychological musings on domestic violence.
Josepha is submissive to the demands of her psychologically twisted husband and yearns for his love. The husband dominates and sexually tortures her. Obsessed with violent fantasies of her death, he slashes her throat then kills himself.
Meanwhile Josepha’s sister sees her gallant, loving fiancée slaughtered in the Columbian streets. Shattered, she travels to Madrid to be with Josepha, meeting the handsome sculptor Sebastian along the way. Once in Madrid, she finds that her sister has been murdered and meets a journalist who is making a domestic violence documentary. Their blossoming love is overshadowed by her unhealed heartache and his struggle to remain faithful to his wife.
This is adult-only reading. The first 71 pages are filled with lurid, explicit scenes of torture, sexual punishment and murder, with references, for example, to a chair with an iron dildo built for anal torture and a mask made from the bones of a woman. While the graphic violence lessens after a while, it is present throughout. In fact, the simple plot seems to exist only to support intrusive and distracting pages containing the author’s personal philosophy about the nature of love, the reason men commit domestic violence, why women allow it and why society seems to turn a blind eye.
While the characters are believable (with the exception of Josepha’s insane husband), the narrative confusingly jumps between characters. In addition, the text is translated into English from an unspecified language and suffers from the occasional misused word and odd sentence structure.
Those interested in a study of domestic violence might find this a compelling read — but only if they are prepared for a disturbing, disjointed tale that depicts explicit violence and sex. Others will want to steer clear.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.