The Warning

Also available in: Spanish

Synopsis of The Warning

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?

Synopsis of The Warning taken from Amazon

Review of The Warning – Paul Pen


Aaron breaks up with Andrea, his girlfriend, after ten years of relationship. Disheartened, he asks his best friend, David, to run a message in the “American” store, known as the “Open”. While David is there, a robbery occurs in which he is shot.

Aaron learns that, since 1909, there have been several heists in the same premises, in which there have been different businesses. The result of such heists is always a fatality. Obsessed with the guilt of sending David there instead, he sets out to investigate the robberies. He thinks it’s too much of a coincidence and there has to be a pattern.


Leo, an eight-year-old boy who lives in the same village and is bullied at school, finds in his backpack a notice in the form of a letter announcing the possible date and place of his death. His parents find out and suspect it’s a joke from Leo himself. With this, his situation, which was already difficult at school, is now also difficult at home.

It’s a very good and original story. Greatly developed and hooks from the beginning.

The explanation of Aaron’s reasoning is followed very well despite the number of figures and combinations he handles.

Very interesting, though sad, is Leo’s situation at home where, unfortunately, his mother comes to mistreat him psychologically believing that he is a liar, a coward and that he is going crazy.

It’s the first novel I’ve ever read by Paul Pen and I got a pleasant surprise. I’m going for the following: The Light of the Fireflies.

I’d very much recommend it.

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Publisher: AmazonCrossing
ISBN 9781542004589
Original title: El aviso

Language: English

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