On a summer day at the arcade, timid sixteen-year-old Ignacio Cañas encounters two charismatic rebels: El Zarco ("Blue Eyes") and his gorgeous girl, Tere. Entranced, he crosses the border into their dangerous world, becoming their partner in crimes that quickly escalate.
Twenty-five years later, Tere materializes in Cañas's office, needing help. Cañas has settled back into middle-class life, becoming a successful defense lawyer. Zarco has matured into a convict of some infamy. Yet somehow, with new stakes, this three-way affair will begin again.
With his usual brio, Javier Cercas surveys the borders between right and wrong, respectability and criminality, and to what extent we can pass between them--or determine on which side we ultimately fall. This brilliantly plotted tale firmly establishes him as one of the most rewarding novelists writing today.