cover image Like Flies from Afar

Like Flies from Afar

K. Ferrari, trans. from the Spanish by Adrian Nathan West. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $25 (224p) ISBN 978-0-374-23994-7

Argentinian author Ferrari, who works as a janitor at a Buenos Aires metro station, makes his English-language debut with an enthralling hard-boiled thriller centering on 24 hours in the life of Argentinian oligarch Luis Machi. After a cocaine-fueled tryst, Machi blows a tire on the drive home. He suspects the three spikes in his tire to be a deliberate act by someone familiar with his routine. On opening the trunk to get out the spare, Machi discovers an unidentifiable dead body handcuffed, with a single gunshot wound to the head. The likely murder weapon, the Glock he keeps in his glove compartment, is missing one bullet. Ferrari tightly crafts an intense, noir narrative crosscutting between Machi’s struggle to dispose of the body and evidence without authorities noticing and vignettes featuring the considerable number of enemies, including bitter employees and jilted family members, who would go to this extreme for retribution. Those looking for a finely honed, pitch-black crime novel will be rewarded. With any luck, the author will soon be able to give up his day job. (Mar.)