The Uncomfortable Dead (What's Missing Is Missing): A Novel by Four Hands

Paco Ignacio Taibo, II, Author, Subcomandante Marcos, Author, Carlos Lopez, Translator , trans. from the Spanish by Carlos Lopez. Akashic $15.95 (268p) ISBN 978-1-933354-07-1

Mexican crime writer Taibo and a real-life spokesperson for the Zapatista movement, Subcomandante Marcos, provide alternating chapters for this postmodern comedic mystery about good, evil and modern revolutionary politics. Elías Contreras, a detective for the Zapatista National Liberation Army (and Marcos's creation), heads to Mexico City to investigate the case of a nefarious government-backed murderer named Morales. Taibo brings back one-eyed Mexico City detective Héctor Belascoarán Shayne (Return to the Same City , etc.), who becomes involved in the case when he learns of strange telephone messages about this same Morales. Taibo's expertise ensures a smart, funny book, and Marcos brings a wry sense of humor. The authors mix mystery with metafiction: characters operate from beyond the grave or chat about the roles they play in the novel, and Marcos writes his fictional self into the story. Literary readers will nod and smile knowingly, though serious mystery devotees who prefer more grounded noir might be mildly annoyed by the hijinks. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/10/2006
Release date: 09/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
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