Garca's Heart

Liam Durcan, Author . St. Martin's/Dunne $23.95 (296p) ISBN 978-0-312-36708-4

Neurologist Durcan (A Short Journey by Car ) dissects the ethics involved when politics, medicine and violence collide in this finely wrought novel about a neurologist turned biotech entrepreneur who travels to The Hague to witness his mentor's war crimes trial. Patrick Lazerenko is a punk teen in Montreal when he first meets Hernan García, the Spanish immigrant owner of a neighborhood grocery store. Caught trying to vandalize Hernan's store, Patrick is roped into working off the damages and soon finds himself attached to the García family. When Patrick sees Hernan's backroom medical consultations with local immigrants, he is inspired to become a doctor himself. Years later, a journalist exposes Hernan—dubbed the Angel of Lepaterique—as having been mixed up in the CIA-backed torture of subversive citizens in Honduras in the 1980s. Parallels to Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo are acute (and even overtly identified) as Hernan is accused of witnessing and aiding in detainee torture. Subplots involving a devious political think-tank, the long-expired romance between Patrick and Hernan's daughter and the goings-on at Patrick's company, provide a rich backdrop to the trial, but the centerpiece is the mélange of complex feelings that arise within Patrick, who finds himself simultaneously condemning and rooting for Hernan. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 08/20/2007
Release date: 11/01/2007
Open Ebook - 304 pages - 978-1-4299-3843-3
Ebook - 392 pages - 978-1-55199-174-0
Paperback - 392 pages - 978-0-7710-2941-7
Hardcover - 378 pages - 978-0-7710-2940-0
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