Boris Quercia


© Antonio Quercia



Boris Quercia Martinic was born in Santiago, Chile in 1966 as the grandson of Italian and Yugoslav immigrants. He is an actor, director, screenwriter and novelist. He studied theatre at the University of Chile in the 1980s (the rest he taught himself). In one of the greatest successes of the Chilean theatre, The Black Ester („La Negra Ester “), he acted as Roberto Parra (the brother of Violeta Parra). Quercia is the director of Sex with Love (“Sexo con Amor”), one of the most watched films of the local cinema, and The Eighties (“Los 80”), the most highly-awarded series of Chilean television. As a writer he won the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière 2016 with his second novel.



Santiago Quiñones is at his wit‘s end. His fiancée Marina does not love him anymore. Is it because he had too many other women, even without ever having loved anyone other than Marina? His police colleagues despise him. Is it because he had an affair with his boss’s wife, and this boss is now after him? And he‘s gnawed by guilt ever since he helped his seriously ill stepfather to die. Is it because he grew up without a father? One night, Santiago falls on a small-time drug dealer and makes a silly mistake. This misstep will not be long in catching up with him...

In The Blood Is Not Water (“La sangre no es agua”, French title: “The Legend of Santiago”), Boris Quercia shows us his villainous policeman Santiago Quiñones in a new adventure, endowed with a sense of honour as twisted as it is solid.


A real treat of a detective novel: simply mavellous!




In Santiago Quiñones, Cop (“Santiago Quiñones, tira”) it's cold, it's six in the morning and Santiago does not want to kill anyone. The problem is that he's a cop. A cop in Santiago de Chile. And he is about to arrest a band of dangerous but inexperienced and unpredictable delinquents... After killing a fifteen-year-old young man during a difficult arrest, Santiago wanders through the streets of his city, filled with disgust. This is how his path crosses with that of beautiful Ema Marín, a woman so seductive that she will entangle him in a dark scam. Ema is an insurance broker who seems to know a lot about the cop’s past, and the reader learns that he doesn’t have an altogether clean slate… The police story goes deeper and deeper into the city's underworld, where the force of events is incontestable and any possible dream is dashed. The attraction to women and sex at the heart of the story will lead the reader on unsuspected and strangely tragicomic paths, creating a highly original atmosphere and tone.



With Santiago Quiñones, Cop, Boris Quercia offers us a first short novel that is effective, terse and brilliant, a worthy heir of Jim Thompson and Ross MacDonald. A real gem to be read quickly!



The literary debut of Boris Quercia, the well-known film director, actor and screenwriter, is a novel that reads fast. It shows vertigo and rhythm in its writing and traps the reader from the very first chapter, urging him or her to continue investigating the character who gives the book its name.

El Mostrador, Chile



Dead Dog (“Perro muerto”) is Santiago Quiñones’s second case. He has experience in the detective trade: he has faced several shootings and avid delinquents. However, when he believed he had seen everything, in a bloody battle, Jiménez, his companion, is fatally wounded. Worse still, the deceased seems to have been mixed up with some murky stories, and had internal affairs on his back. Out of curiosity as much as idleness, Santiago begins to investigate, and he finds a young woman he knows well. Yesenia lives only to avenge herself for having been kidnapped and raped by her father-in-law. In the name of their past friendship she asks Santiago to kill this man. He is plunged into a crisis: he wants a normal life, he wants to spend some days off at the seaside with his girlfriend Marina, with whom things have been difficult recently - but even if he tries, he cannot get away from his problems.

It is in this oppressive atmosphere that a clue leads Santiago to the true reasons for the death of his friend, and triggers a delirious adventure in the toughest districts of Santiago. Once again, it’s the tone of the novel and the complex character of the main figure – who loves his girlfriend but wants to try other women as well, who is not always politically correct but is a moral person who in the end is going to do the right thing – that inevitably draws the reader into its spell.





The Blood Is Not Water (”La sangre no es agua“)

Santiago: Penguin Random House, forthcoming spring 2019

TV rights sold

France: Asphalte 2018, 256 p.


Dead Dog (“Perro muerto”)
Santiago: PRH 2016, 241 p. 
Grand Prix de Littérature Policière 2016
TV rights sold
France: Asphalte 2015, Poche pb 2017


Santiago Quiñones, Cop (“Santiago Quiñones, tira”)
Santiago: PRH 2010, 2016, 151 p. 
TV rights sold
France: Asphalte 2014, Poche pb 2015
Sex with Love (”Sexo con amor“)
Santiago: Ediciones Universidad Mayor 2008, 135 p.