La Bestia / The Beast (Planeta Award 2021)

La Bestia / The Beast (Planeta Award 2021)

Title: La Bestia / The Beast (Planeta Award 2021)
Genre: Historical thriller
Publisher: Planeta
Date of publication: November 2021
Pages: 500
Rights sold: Arabic/Al Kotob, Estonia/Pegasus, Romania/Trei, Russia/Sindbad, France/Actes Sud

A violent and impressive historical thriller. In a masterly way Carmen Mola intricately weaves a gripping and ruthless novel.

La Bestia  is set in Madrid of 1834, devastated by the epidemics of cholera. The city experiences a terrible wave of murders and the victims are girls from the poorest neighbourhoods. A journalist, a police officer and a girl try to find out the cause of those barbaric crimes.

Madrid is the true protagonist of the novel: a dirty city, without pavements and without law, fenced off by cholera and the Carlist troops, with mournful burials, quarantine stations and confinements.


Una gran novela, a la medida de la realidad histórica del Madrid de 1834: poderosa, conmovedora, escalofriante.

Alzira Martins, Actes Sud / France

Atmospheric and full of interesting historic details, great in building the tension and constructing the plot, very creative within the genre of crime fiction. They achieved the gripping combination of the grim detective story and the adventure story. The characters are interesting to follow and you feel for them.

Irina Bachkalo, Sindbad / Russia

It’s a Dickensian novel but with key thriller elements, set in a dark and atmospheric Madrid. The descriptions are detailed and vivid, and the characters, clearly inspired by the classics, are strong and well written. The cliffhangers in the chapters keep the readers engaged, and the writing makes you feel like being a real-time witness of the events described. Together with the author’s talent to write such vivid visual descriptions make it a true page-turner.

Sander Knol, Xander Uitgevers / The Netherlands