As I mentioned in my quotation Sunday, this crime story takes place in Peru of the 1950s. Not a peaceful and cosy environment, but if you get through the first page, you´ll have survived the worst bit.
The young airman, Palomino Molero, is killed in the most brutal fashion, but neither his comrades from the air base nor the villagers want to talk about the case. They appear scared, and the locals have made up their mind anyway that no one will ever be punished because ´the big guys´ always shut the police up.
The book is about crime, but it is also a different story where the reader meets ´gentlemen´ and coloured men, fat women and intense women, vultures and delusions, and many versions of one death – and where exactly lies the truth?
The two policemen on the case are smart, worldwise Lieutenant Silva who knows how to manouvre in a world of corruption, and the inexperienced Officer Lituma who stands in awe of his superior – or is this impression also a delusion?
Other surprises were the unexpected ending and the fine, but different tone of dark humour. If you want to try something out of the ordinary, I recommend this remarkable, little story.
I bought it myself – read for the 2010 Global Reading Challenge, Peru, South America.
NEWS: I just heard that Mario Vargas Llosa received the 2010 Nobel Prize in literature.