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December 14, 2017

Books

Monday, March 20, 2017

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By Herald Staff
Offshore
 by Petros Márkaris (TusQuets), 286 pages.

Both the book’s title and the author’s name might seem to be telegraphing what lies ahead for the reader — an exposé of Panama Papers etc. written by somebody from Greece, the cradle of Europe’s 21st century financial crises as well as democracy. But both those assumptions would be wrong — the book is fiction, a police thriller, while Petros Márkaris (ethnically Greek, no doubt) was born in Istanbul. Márkaris is something of a Greek Henning Mankell whose Athenian police inspector Kostas Jaritos is his equivalent of Kurt Wallander. Yet this book might be fiction but it is not escapism. Its plot — a Tourism Ministry official suspected of forming part of a major financial scandal is found shot through the head and two illegal Pakistani immigrants are accused of the murder — evokes some of the world’s most serious and topical problems such as corruption and human-trafficking. Márkaris, the veteran author of around a dozen such police thrillers, might have turned 80 on New Year’s Day this year but he writes for today’s world.                                                         


A corazón abierto
 by Ricardo Coler (Planeta), 297 pages.

Last year’s Oscar winner for best picture (there was only one winner then, not two as in last month’s fiasco) now becomes this year’s late summer reading — evoking Spotlight, Ricardo Coler centres his complex narrative on a tragic death arising out of a potentially revolutionary medical discovery which the interests of the Catholic Church are committed to hushing. The porteño author largely sets this book in the city of his birth but the cast extends further afield — not only Diana Rauch (a doctor whose murky family history goes beyond her father’s mysterious death) and Martín Paunero (chronically suspicious of his business partners) but also Derek Müller, a young Boston-trained German executive whose agenda takes him all the way back to the Second World War. The central theme thus unfolds against a backdrop of family and business intrigue. Coler is an imaginative writer but not when it comes to chapter headings — the subdivisions of this book are entitled Primera parte, Segunda parte, Tercera parte, Cuarta parte and Quinta parte.                                              



Perdidas en la noche
by Fabián Martínez Siccardi (TusQuets),  
203 pages.

Fabián Martínez Siccardi is a penguin born in the Santa Cruz provincial capital of Río Gallegos (1964) and his first book bore the title Patagonia iluminada but don’t expect to find anything either for or against Kirchnerism in his work —he has spent much of his life in the United States (where his familiarity ranges from Virginia to California) and Spain. Through this book the author tries to bring the places where he has lived together. Luciano Capra is a translator with a tragic past in the United States — Rose is a Californian whose daughter went missing without trace (at least as far as her family are concerned) in Buenos Aires some weeks ago, which sets Luciano thinking about his own daughter in the US. Aside from a breathless plot, this book is also about the Argentine capital re-inventing itself as various languages and nationalities converge. Martínez Siccardi won the 2013 Clarín Prize for best novel of the year with his book Bestias afuera — he has also written in English (If then a man, co-authored with South African Arthur Rose).                               
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Edition No. 5055 - This publication is a property of NEFIR S.A. -RNPI Nº 5343955 - Issn 1852 - 9224 - Te. 4349-1500 - San Juan 141 , (C1063ACY) CABA - Director Perdiodístico: Ricardo Daloia