cover image Sweet Money

Sweet Money

Ernesto Mallo, trans. from the Spanish by Katherine Silver. Bitter Lemon, $14.95 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-904738-73-2

Set in Argentina during the 1980s, Mallo’s gritty, atmospheric second Inspector Lascano mystery (after 2010’s Needle in a Haystack) focuses on two broken men on opposite sides of the law. After the Apostles, a group of drug-dealing cops who rule Buenos Aires, murder the new chief of police on his first day in office, Lascano becomes their next target. Meanwhile, “intellectual criminal” Mole Miranda discovers on his release from prison that the friend with whom he’d entrusted his money has spent nearly all of it, albeit on a good cause. Furthermore, Mole’s wife and son want nothing to do with him. When the bank robbery Mole believes he has to commit takes a fatal turn, Lascano gets on his trail. Mallo’s frequent ruminations on ants, love, and food serve as metaphors for the corruption that pervaded each aspect of Argentine life during this violent period of political unrest. (Oct.)