Book Review: All This I Will Give to You by Dolores Redondo

Imagine suddenly finding yourself in a completely different environment. Your partner has been killed in an accident and turns out to have been a prominent marquis in his hometown, something you were unaware of. Distraught, you travel to his birthplace, where the accident occurred. This place turns out to be the Ribeira Sacra in Galicia, where the psychological thriller All This I Will Give to You by Dolores Redondo takes place.

The Book: A Thriller in Galicia

The book is a hefty tome of almost 600 pages, in which you accompany the protagonist, Daniel, to the unfamiliar Galicia where his husband met his untimely demise. But was it really an accident? This question haunts Daniel, as well as former inspector Nogueira. Nogueira persuades Manuel to stay in Galicia and investigate the mysterious death of his husband.

Through his investigation, Daniel learns more and more about his deceased husband, things he may not have wanted to know. It turns out that Daniel’s husband, Alvaró, was at the helm of a prominent noble family. A family with significant influence, particularly over the church, and a tumultuous history in which the old marquis (Alvaro’s father) and his three sons play a central role. One son had already died under suspicious circumstances from an overdose, the second son has now also died, and the third son is unstable and ignored by his strict mother. Why?

In the book, you are taken through Manuel’s constant doubts; was it truly an accident or murder? And what does the suspicious death of Alvaro’s brother have to do with it? Piece by piece, family secrets are revealed. More and more, often dirty, information from the past becomes visible. Not all the information is pleasant for Manuel. He is in the midst of grieving his husband’s death and is then hit with one emotional blow after another through his investigation. Is this investigation worth it? And what does it uncover, was Alvaró murdered or simply killed in an accident?

Personally, it took me a while to get into the book, but as I progressed, I became more and more intrigued. The tension increases as you read, and with each piece of information, the fog surrounding the family history lifts a little, providing more clarity towards the end. The suspense builds. What happened, and will Manuel and Nogueira get their answers?

The Role of Galicia in the Book

What’s better than a thrilling book set in a beautiful region? The imagery that forms in your mind as you read. Of course, this story could have unfolded in areas other than Galicia. So, read the book if the story appeals to you. And enjoy it even more if you’re familiar with Galicia.

The story takes place in an unspecified location in the Ribeira Sacra. As you read, you experience this rugged wine region. You learn about the challenging terrain of the steep hills and how people sometimes have to pick grapes using ropes and cables in an authentic manner. It also beautifully describes the harvesting process and how land division through cables was traditionally passed down; each parent would give a portion of the wine plot to their children, resulting in increasingly smaller plots.

Manuel’s musings on a boat trip along the Rio Miño at Belesar are particularly well described. This is where the marquis’s winery is located. Several villages lie beneath the water’s surface, flooded when reservoirs were created. It’s a peculiar sensation, sailing in a gondola over old villages. The banks of the Miño River are said to be very beautiful in reality, and it’s entirely conceivable that Manuel’s boat trip in the book would be fantastic in real life too.

Another interesting aspect of Galicia mentioned here is “feísmo,” the art of making things ugly. A new concept for me that I learned about through this book and immediately sparked my interest to write a blog post about feísmo, Galician architecture.

Lastly, how was the region of Galicia perceived by the outsider Manuel?
Sure, it rained occasionally. As time passed, and as the book progressed, the protagonist became increasingly skilled at predicting the rain. A clear sky doesn’t guarantee dry weather, and a cloud cover doesn’t guarantee rain. Is Manuel also enchanted by Galicia? One of his new friends remarks in the book: “You won’t leave here. It gets into your blood, that’s what this region does to you, it will happen to you too, and then you won’t leave.”

Want to know if Manuel stays in Galicia and if he gets answers to his questions?
Read the book. Both the ebook and printed versions are available for purchase in English.

>> Buy the book on Amazon

P.S. There are more books set in Galicia. Find my reviews here.

Leave a Reply