I have enjoyed every single moment of this book even when Pedro de Alemán made me suffer with his fantasies and temptations.
The ambush to the murderer in Angustias Square ends up bad. Pedro, Hiniesta and Jesus see a black berlin, and a man all dressed in black appears. Pedro decides to approach him. The night is dark but with a full moon. Yet, the moon light doesn’t let him see the man’s face, and when the murderer sees him, he takes out a gun and shoots at Pedro, hitting him in the chest. Hiniesta is behind him, and he tries to get the killer, but he only manages to snatch a medallion from his neck and hit him in the neck with the short sword he had with him.
Thankfully, Pedro is only hurt. When he wakes up in his house, Adela, Hiniesta and the doctor are with him. He is told that thanks to his notebook he is alive. The notebook whose covers are of wood cushion the impact of the bullet, so Pedro only has an injured and a concussion. Adela is sobbing in relief, and both the doctor and Hiniesta think that what happened was a miracle.
Hiniesta gives Pedro the medallion, which shows a coat of arms which depicts a lion and a column surrounded by eight crosses. Despite Adela’s protests, Pedro goes to see D Francisco de Mesa y Xinete, and they find the name that this coat of arms represents.
When the trial against Deogracias starts, Pedro requests free rein to prove who killed not only Felisa, but the other three women. So despite the prosecutor’s protests, Pedro keeps bringing witnesses to prove his point. And I was right!!! The prosecutor is the killer, and as soon as Pedro shows the evidence (the medallion and his neck showing the injury after Hiniesta’s attack) the man flees. Later Pedro explains that D Bernardo’s father wanted to be a 24, but several members of the council stopped him, among them D Jerónimo Enciso’s father, Doña Consolación’s father, Don Esteban Juan de Medina, and D Francisco Hinojosa. D Bernardo’s father moved to Granada when he lost everything in Jerez, and thinking that the reason why his father was ruined and eventually died was the refusal of the 24s, he swore his vengeance. He studied law in Granada and managed to get a position as a prosecutor in the city, and when the position of prosecutor in Jerez was vacated, he decided to apply and get the position. It is then that the crimes started, and the choice of the victims was based on the degree of opposition the particular 24 put on in those days.
In the prologue we learn that D Bernardo is finally apprehended, sentenced to death, and executed. Deogracias is acquitted, and both he and the family of Francisco Porrúa are given some money as compensation. And months later while Pedro and Adela are strolling around the town, they run into Jesus and Evangelina. Jesús crossed the street to greet them, and he tells that he and Evangelina will marry soon, and he assures Pedro that Evangelina has forgiven him for his part in the trial. Jesus has got his old job back, and Evangelina is also working for Jacome Vaccaro, helping him with his drawings. And when Pedro looks at Evangelina, he doesn’t feel those tormentuous temptations, but peace because in her eyes he finally sees forgiveness.
I really loved the book. I am sorry that there is not a fourth instalment, so I will have to be patient and wait for the author to write another new adventure for Pedro de Alemán.