Only One Thing Missing by Luis Manuel Ruiz

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Luis Manuel Ruiz's English-language debut is a literary page-turner that takes us through the labyrinthine streets of contemporary Seville, the desolate walkways of an unmapped urban dreamscape, and to the devil-worshiping underworld of medieval Lisbon. Only One Thing Missing centers on the grieving Alicia, a young woman who has recently lost her husband and only child in a tragic accident. Mourning the loss of her family, Alicia is fortunate to be surrounded by friends and neighbors whose hands are always outstretched to offer solace and comfort. But soon she becomes plagued by a succession of nightmares -- all set in a surreal, unidentifiable city -- and when the statues and shadowy figures from the dream city begin to appear in her waking life, she finds herself teetering between sanity and paranoia. Together with her brother-in-law, Esteban -- who happens to be madly in love with her -- Alicia gradually comes to understand that she may be the subject of an evil conspiracy that has dark, ancient roots. As the two of them fall deeper into this phantasmagoric world, they come to see that the people all around them may not be as well-meaning as they appear, and that trust -- once such an abundant commodity -- may have become an unaffordable luxury. Deftly crafted and rife with literary allusions, Only One Thing Missing is an enthralling thriller that is at once a love story, a chilling tale of the occult, and an exploration of the timeless themes of memory, obsession, and loss. This year's winner of the International Prize is a haunting psychological thriller.

About Luis Manuel Ruiz

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Published December 10, 2002 by Grove Press. 272 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Only One Thing Missing

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Alicia describes these nightmares to her mother-in-law Luisa, a psychiatrist who tries to help Alicia manage her grief.

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Publishers Weekly

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Ruiz does a fabulous job rendering Alicia's psychological erosion, focusing on her small, seemingly ordinary mental failures in order to generate suspense while downplaying the over-the-top elements of the satanic subplot.

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