The Shadow of a Shadow

Paco Ignacio Taibo, II, Author, William I. Neuman, Translator Viking Books $18.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-670-83177-7
This glorious novel reads as if James M. Cain and Dashiell Hammett had collaborated with Gabriel Garcia Marquez on a version of The Three Musketeers set in 1920s, postrevolutionary Mexico City. Taibo's ( An Easy Thing ) four memorable protagonists champion the rights of the common man against corrupt military and police officials, Chinese tongs, a secret anarchist cadre and assorted criminals in this romp through turbulent and romantic times. Caught unwittingly in an intrigue spawned between Mexican army officials and U.S. oil barons, these four not-so-young friends--a war veteran/poet, a disreputable lawyer, a Chinese Mexican union organizer and a crusading crime reporter--walk through a landscape of dead bodies and mysterious women to prove that the power of the press and true commitment to ideals can beat all odds. Insights into each character and delightful surprises on nearly every page of this literate historical thriller support one of the characters' contention that crime writing is ``where you find the real literature of life.'' (July)
Reviewed on: 07/01/1991
Release date: 07/01/1991
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