Needle in a Haystack – Book Review
By Angela Youngman May 11, 2010, 16:54 GMT
"This is not simply a triumph of style; it is both a reflection on a time of bloodshed and a raw vision of human misery."-Guillermo Saccomanno, winner of the Argentine National Literature Prize"This man knows. He knows about guns, knows about women, knows about dead bodies. . . . But above all he knows how to narrate."-Ana María Shua, author of El peso de la tentaciónSuperintendent Lascano is a detective ...more
Set in Argentina during the time of the dictators; Superintendent Lascano has a difficult role to play. One wrong move and he could find himself on the wrong end of a bullet from his own masters.
Sent to investigate the discovery of two bodies, he finds three. Two are clearly politically motivated and have to be avoided, the third may be a different story. Carefully working his way through the political and social minefield that is Buenos Aires, Lascano discovers that the victim is an embittered moneylender and Auschwitz survivor.
Unfortunately, the hunt for the murderer leads into political arenas which Lascano would certainly prefer not to be investigating. The situation only gets worse when the situation begins to threaten Eva, a young militant, for whom Lascano has developed an affection. Mallo certainly knows the world about which he is writing, since he himself was a former militant sought by the dictators.
It is very detailed, very thorough and not a story which is relaxing or can be picked up and set down easily. You need a lot of concentration for this novel, and it is one which will appeal to anyone who enjoys stories with a political bent, as well as a hard, gritty environment.
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