Puerto Rican novelist Eduardo Lalo has won one of the Spanish speaking world's top literary awards for an urban love story with a mystery entwined in it.
"Simone" triumphed in the 23rd edition of the Romulo Gallegos Prize, named after Venezuela's greatest 20th century author.
Lalo is the first Puerto Rican to win the prize.
Set in the streets, taverns and other darker sides of San Juan, a city normally associated with the sun and surf of the Caribbean, his book is about a novelist who starts receiving anonymous messages in the form of quotes from famous writers.
These lead him to a series of meetings, the last of which changes his life. Woven into the labyrinth is a tortured love story.
The prize includes a 100,000 dollar stipend. Lalo will take delivery of the prize in August.
Previous winners include Colombia's Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mario Vargas Llosa of Peru and Carlos Fuentes of Mexico.