Holy City by Guillermo Orsi and Nick Caistor (translator)
|Holy City by Guillermo Orsi and Nick Caistor (translator)|
|Reviewer: Sue Magee|
|Summary: Fast paced, violent and brilliantly atmospheric - you need your wits about you just to read the book.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 320||Date: March 2012|
|Publisher: MacLehose Press|
Honest policemen are not that common in Buenos Aires, it seems, but Deputy Inspector Walter Carroza of the serious-crime squad does his best to keep his head above the murky waters of corruption. Sometimes there just seems to be too much going on - even for a loner like Carroza without too much else in his life to absorb his time. The lack of dredging in the Rio del Plata caused the cruise ship to run aground and the passengers were evacuated to the city, where six - two French, two German and two Italians - of them were abducted. They're wealthy business leaders and the kidnappings send stock markets into freefall.
Then there's the problem of the woman who was Miss Bolivia and who expected so much more from the title than the rather tawdry gigs which came her way. Carroza realises that she's not as innocent as she looks, but the bodies of the men who lust after her always seem to turn up minus a head. Lawyer Veronica Berutti has some sympathy for Miss Bolivia but then you have to question the judgement of someone who works in a dangerous market area of the city, specialises in one-night stands and seems to have a strange relationship with a tour guide/drug dealer. It almost seems like a death wish.
I'll make no bones about it - you need your wits about you just to read this book. The story doesn't stand around waiting for you to catch up with working out who is who and what part they play. You're operating on the same level as the police - or whoever the good guys are right now - and whilst you're running behind the action the bodies are mounting up. And some of them are a bit messy too - be warned.
It's cynical. It's a side of life you never want to see - and if I ever did want to visit Buenos Aires the idea has gone up in smoke - but if you really do want to find out about the criminal underclasses in Buenos Aires then this could be a lot cheaper than the airfare.
I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
for more of kidnappings in Argentina, try Far South by David Enrique Spellman. Nick Caistor also translated The Little Communist Who Never Smiled by Lola Lafon. You might also enjoy Sweet Money by Ernesto Mallo and Katherine Silver and Seven Ways to Kill a Cat by Matias Nespolo.
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You can read more book reviews or buy Holy City by Guillermo Orsi and Nick Caistor (translator) at Amazon.com.
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