Who is Costa del Sol?

That is the question.

Costa del Sol is a half-English, half-Spanish man of mystery who works among the crowds between Marbella and Denia.

Neither legal nor illegal, cop nor robber, Costa is a lone shark swimming in the human sea.

“Costa appeared to me one morning when I was out running in Torre del Mar, near Malaga,” James Hartley says. “I saw him standing with his back to the bright sun. I could see his shape – tall and skinny – and the colour of his hair – blonde. I knew his name and that he was half-Spanish and half-English. By the time I got home and started to write him down, he had changed. He would never look the same way twice. He could not be pinned down, nor explained. He could only be glimpsed, sometimes, walking by on the prom or drinking a caña in a cafe. He was there on the beach in the sardine smoke, driving past in dark glasses in an old car, standing in the Arrivals hall in the airport, watching you watching him…”

Costa´s adventures will be serialised in three newspapers between September and December. The first story, The Man In Black, will also be published here, as well as an exclusive story – Home From Home – only available on this website.

All illustrations are by Ben Hartley.

These are two old men who spot someone jumping from a small Cessna at the beginning of The Man In Black.