Life Itself

Paco Ignacio Taibo, II, Author, Beth Henson, Translator Mysterious Press $18.95 (209p) ISBN 978-0-89296-518-2
In Taibo's irresistible noir-meets-magic realism approach, wit and politics are central to the narrative. Jose Daniel Fierro seems an unlikely candidate for police chief in the Mexican border town of Santa Ana. A crime writer who has never fired a gun, he's also something of a coward. On the other hand, he's a quick study, a mine of crime fiction and movie lore-and he's alive, which is than can be said for the two previous chiefs of his town, a communist outpost that boasts a colorful revolutionary and counterrevolutionary past. After Jose deals with his first few crimes, the story picks up steam when the stabbed and naked corpse of an American woman is discovered in the church. In her nearby motel room, Jose finds a bloody yellow dress and the picture of a young child. Looking for the killer sends him into the big leagues, at which point the narrative detours begin to make sense. Taibo (No Happy Ending) may scant suspense here, but he delivers on all other fronts, peppering his prose with dark laughs that illuminate the human condition. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/03/1994
Release date: 10/01/1994
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-446-40331-3
Hardcover - 978-0-517-16736-6
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