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Publisher's Summary

A strange pattern of death emerges in a small Spanish town in this novel of twisting suspense by international bestselling author Paul Pen.

I don’t wish to frighten you, reads the anonymous note introverted and bullied eight-year-old Leo Cruz finds in his backpack. All the sender asks is that he avoid a certain spot on a certain day, or he’ll die. Leo has reason to be afraid. The warning hearkens back to nearly a decade ago - to the same site, where a murder has become local folklore and a favorite campfire tale reinvented year after year by the kids of Arenas, a small Spanish town. 

Leo’s parents initially suspect the lonely boy’s cruel classmates. The perfect joke to terrorize an impressionable victim. Unless, as they come to believe, it’s Leo himself who is the author of the warning. 

Is Leo being lured to an unavoidable fate? Is someone taking bullying to a dangerous new level? Or is there something else at work in Arenas, a town with intersecting destinies and a century of secrets?

©2011 by Paul Pen. Translation © 2020 by Simon Bruni. (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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  • Wayne
  • 10-02-2020

Excellent psychological thriller

I became a fan of Spanish author Paul Pen four years ago with listening to the very, very dark and twisted psychological thriller The Light of the Fireflies. That was followed one year later by the outstanding psychological thriller Desert Flowers. Under the Water was translated next. It was far less dark, but is likely the best work of Paul Pen. THE WARNING was Paul Pen's first novel but was only recently translated to English. It is not as dark and twisted as either The Light of the Fireflies or Desert Flowers nor is it as good as Under the Water.Still, it is excellent.

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  • veronique Brown
  • 02-05-2020

determined to finish

disappointed thought it was a thriller, maybe it was and I want thrilled. ended as expected

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  • Bookish Barbi
  • 16-02-2020

Good Read.

I was a bit confused in the beginning maybe because I was multitasking but once I gave it my full attention I thought it was a great story. Just when you thought the story was going one way it took an awesome twist. My first time reading from this author and I was not disappointed.

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