Somewhere Within the Shadows
Somewhere Within the Shadows is the first graphic novel of the Blacksad series, published in 2000 for the French market by Dargaud. In the United States, the book was simply retitled Blacksad by now-defunct publisher iBooks in 2003.
Blacksad investigates the murder of the famous actress Natalia Willford, who he used to be involved with - first as a bodyguard, then in a more intimate capacity.
His first inquiries lead him to Léon Kronski, a screenwriter and her last known lover, who has disappeared. He finds Kronski already dead and buried under a pseudonym. After Blacksad is severely beaten by two hired thugs, the police arrest him. Smirnov, a police commissioner, explains to Blacksad that because of "pressure upstairs" he himself cannot investigate the matter any further. Smirnov offers him a deal, advantageous to both sides.
As Blacksad returns home, a goanna hitman and a rat goon attempt to kill him and each other. The rat quickly dies, and Blacksad interrogates the dying goanna and finally uncovers the culprit of the whole affair: Ivo Statoc, a frog, the richest and most powerful businessman of the city, who considers himself above any law. Statoc shot the actress himself because her infidelity. After brutally infiltrating the office suite at the top of his skyscraper, Blacksad confronts the completely calm and cold-blooded Statoc - who first offers him a job, and later a bribe. Blacksad rejects both offers as a matter of principle and shoots Statoc in the head. The police arrange it so it appears to be a suicide.
|Blacksad by Juan Díaz Canales and Juanjo Guarnido|