Needle in a Haystack by Jethro Soutar , Ernesto Mallo

bookshelves: argentina, mystery-thriller, one-penny-wonder, paper-read, published-2006, under-500-ratings, series, winter-20142015, tbr-busting-2015

Recommended to ☯Bettie☯ by: Carey Combe
Read from January 15 to February 15, 2015
The strapline: Argentina under the Dictatorship – no one is innocent

The not so good description filed on grramazon: “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 tentación

Withdrawn from Childs Hill Library
Translated by Jethro Soutar
Opening quote from Ingmar Bergman ‘The Serpent’s Egg’

Opening: Some days the side of the bed is like the edge of an enormous abyss. Day in, day out, doing things you don’t want to. Lascano wants to stay in bed for ever or throw himself into the abyss. If only the abyss were real. But it’s not. Only the pain is real.

This gritty noir is no travel brochure for Argentina. Set in the Dirty War, a period of state terrorism from 1969ish – 1983, right wing death squads hunted down and executed anyone mildly socialist, journalistic or of a union.

The crime here is pretty simple, however its the raw atmosphere so cleverly conveyed that chills a reader. Some anachronisms, this was written 2006, but nothing too worrying.


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