Juan David Morgan

The Whispers

Planeta, 2016

Ignacio de la Torre, one of the most important Panamanian businessmen disappears without a trace at the same time that an accusation of pedophilia is published against him. Although his body was never found, a judge declares him dead. His son Fernando, heir to the empire, has continued his legacy of success; his wealth and power knowing no boundaries.  Still, there is something bothering him: his father’s shadow as well as neither knowing if his death was real or faked, nor whether he committed the crime for which he was charged or not.

After ten years, the family stability begins to crumble when a photograph of a man eerily resembling Ignacio surfaces. Suspicions seem to be getting confirmation; the fortune of Fernando de la Torre appears to be in danger.

Amid the doubts and intrigue, the renowned family name is at stake, as well as the comforts all its members have enjoyed in the absence of Ignacio. Is he still alive? Could he have committed such a heinous crime?


“Mystery, money and love in Panama.

Aragon’s newspaper

One of the current Central American writers with the most international presence is Panamanian Juan David Morgan, a practicing attorney, committed to understanding the country´s recent history and very knowledgeable about its past, having written about its most important and relevant episodes in his brilliant cycle of historical novels.

But lately J. D. Morgan has been expanding his literary repertoire to other genres, mainly the so-called black novel. Proof of this is his most recent publication, The Whispers (Planeta).

The title refers to a coffee plantation in Chiriquí, where the fictional characters members of the De la Torre family come from and whose clan of second generation businessmen are facing all sorts of difficulties arising from the sudden and incomprehensible disappearance of the dynasty’s patriarch, Ignacio de la Torre, while river rafting on a kayak down the Chiriquí Viejo river. Accident? Kidnapping? ¿Premeditated escape? The inconclusive end to this prominent life opens The Whispers to a detective, police and judicial intrigue, with the author designing and developing a suggestive and interesting plot, which spirals and turbulence enthrall and captivate us from the very first pages, not letting go until we reach the unexpected and unpredictable outcome.

 A novel written with pulse and rhythm, it succeeds in portraying the ruling class of a young and emerging country, traditional in some aspects yet modern in others. We find here a competitive society full of contrasts in which all kinds of personalities arise, many of whom the author has met throughout the course of his life, subsequently transforming them into representative characters of a fictional society.

It depicts a world both economic and emotional as well as social and familiar where it is easy to discern the Spanish influences, mixed in with the indigenous roots, the African migration, many of them forced, and in the case of Panama, the long presence of the United States in its territory.

Young countries, those in Central America, yet to cohere and where power and creation as well as poetry and politics intersect as often as money and love. Societies yearning for a still indistinct future in the complex and sometimes dark present that novelists like Morgan enlighten and unravel with their prose.

Peoples surrounded by mystery.”

Juan Bolea – Writer and journalist. Key promoter of the Aragon Negro Festival

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