Where There's Love, There's Hate

Adolfo Bioy Casares and Silvina Ocampo, trans. from the Spanish by Suzanne Jill Levine and Jessica Ernst Powell. Melville (Random, dist.), $15 trade paper (112p) ISBN 978-1-61219-150-8
In the first English translation of their 1946 novella, husband and wife Casares and Ocampo send up the conventions of the detective novel. A vacationing doctor, who insists, "may nobody call me an un-reliable narrator," weasels his way into solving a murder at a seaside Argentinian resort. When a young woman, Mary, is found dead at the hotel, Dr. Huberman, presuming himself to be "the domi-nant intellect" on the scene, takes the lead in an investigation that at points turns on each of the book's characters. No one is immune from blame; anyone—including Mary's sister Emilia and Emilia's fian-cée—could plausibly be the killer. The sinuous mystery is further complicated by Huberman's narra-tion, which is colored by his arrogance and is far less reliable than he believes. Casares and Ocampo drolly mock the genre itself as Huberman claims "complicated crimes were the province of literature; reality was more banal." The pair's only collaboration turns out to be a witty and erudite take on the clichéd mystery. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/27/2013
Release date: 05/01/2013
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