Death in Veracruz

Héctor Aguilar Camín, trans. from the Spanish by Chandler Thompson. Schaffner (IPG, dist.), $16.95 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-936182-92-3
Mexican author Camín makes his English-language debut with this gritty and convincing, though a tad dated, tale of murder and corruption, first published in 1985. The unnamed narrator, a Mexico City reporter, investigates the government-owned PEMEX’s ruthless practice of acquiring oil-rich lands held by agrarian landowners. When his best friend and colleague, Rojano, is murdered, he centers his sights on the Machiavellian oil union boss, Lázaro Pizarro. Meanwhile, Rojano’s widow, Anabela, who has been the journalist’s longtime lover, becomes obsessed with destroying Pizarro. But in this land of shifting alliances, the journalist begins to discover that he may not have known Rojano as well as he thought and that the alluring Anabela might be keeping some secrets of her own. While Camín’s style recalls Robert Stone more than it does the noir fiction of three decades ago, he obviously possesses an intimate knowledge of the Mexican sociopolitical landscape, and this is a revealing time capsule. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/24/2015
Release date: 10/01/2015
Genre: Fiction
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