The Fragility of Bodies

Sergio Olguín, trans. from the Spanish by Miranda France. Bitter Lemon, $14.95 trade paper (382p) ISBN 978-1-912242-19-1
Argentinian author Olguín makes his English-language debut with a scalding crime novel set in Buenos Aires, the first in a series featuring ambitious journalist Verónica Rosenthal, the 30-ish single daughter of a prominent judge. Verónica sees a potential story in the death of train driver Alfredo Carranza, who jumped off the roof of the building where he visited his psychologist. Alfredo was depressed “because he ran over four people in separate accidents.” When the police decline to pursue what appears to be a straightforward suicide case, Verónica investigates. She learns of the suffering of other train drivers with similar experiences, including Alfredo’s friend Lucio Valrossa, who’s in his own “universe of pain” from six deaths by trains he was driving. What accounts for this high fatality rate? Her search for answers takes her into the city’s poorest neighborhoods, where she discovers why slum boys are so willing to play chicken on railroad tracks. That Verónica has a torrid affair with the married Lucio complicates her quest. Olguín memorably explores the gulf between the haves and have-nots of Buenos Aires. Readers will hope to see more of the complex Verónica. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 07/01/2019
Release date: 10/22/2019
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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