Elena González never expected that a recent sort through of stock at her second-hand bookstore in western Spain would lead to a call to bomb disposal experts.
González told Euronews she was arranging books at Librería Cien Cañones (One Hundred Cannons bookstore) when she noticed that a copy of “Reyes Mendigos” (The King of Beggars) by French writer Jean Larteguy was unusually heavy.
When she looked inside the book, she was shocked to find that all of its pages had been cut out and replaced with a mechanism, including stopwatches, wires and capacitors.
At first “I thought it was a musical book, until I looked at the clock, then when I saw that it did not fit with a musical mechanism I decided to leave it on the counter and I took a photo to send to my husband,” she explained.
As González’s husband rushed to the bookstore, she forwarded the photo onto the police, who told her to vacate the premises and alerted her that members of Spanish bomb deactivation unit Tedax were on their way.
“That's when I was really scared,” she told Euronews.
“I left the bookstore and waited for the police to come, who took care of everything and analysed the book.”
The experts determined that the stopwatches inside the book had long run out of battery and they could not find any trace of explosive materials.
A judge is now investigating the case.
For now staff at Librería Cien Cañones can only guess where the device came from and why it was placed inside the book.