Milena, or the Most Beautiful Femur in the World

Jorge Zepeda Patterson, trans. from the Spanish by Adrian Nathan West. Restless, $18.99 trade paper (480p) ISBN 978-1-63206-125-6
Mexican author Patterson makes his U.S. debut with an ambitious thriller, his second after Los Corruptores. In 2005, Alka Moritz was kidnapped from Croatia at age 16 into the sex trade. A decade later, now known as Milena, she’s the mistress of Rosendo Franco, the owner of El Mundo, an influential Mexican newspaper. When Franco dies while making love to Milena, she decides to disappear, fearful that her original kidnappers will catch up with her. Franco leaves behind a letter for his daughter, Claudia, asking her to protect Milena and find and destroy Milena’s little black book. A group of friends known as the Blues, some with conflicting aims, hunt for Milena, as does her “owner,” Neulo “Bonso” Radu, an operator in the sex trade. Patterson weaves in stories of the men who use women like Milena and her stories of such men, as well as examining international complicity in trafficking and the particular conditions that make Mexico a prime conduit. Milena is a memorable pawn unconsciously trying to reach the transformative eighth rank in this densely plotted crime novel. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/20/2017
Release date: 05/02/2017
Genre: Fiction
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