A Crack in the Wall.

Author:Rigby, Karen
Position:Book review

Claudia Pineiro (author), Miranda France (translator); A CRACK IN THE WALL; Bitter Lemon Press (Fiction: Mystery) 14.95 ISBN: 9781908524089

Byline: Karen Rigby

An atmospheric, Hitchcockian maze reveals architect Pablo SimA[sup.3]'s entanglement in a crime set in contemporary Buenos Aires.

Claudia PiA[+ or -]eiro -- Argentine journalist, playwright, and best-selling author of the award-winning novel Thursday Night Widows -- lures readers in from the start by revealing the death of Nelson Jara, his entombment beneath a building's foundation, and the perpetrators. In 2007, a young woman seeking information on Jara confronts the boss and two employees (including Pablo SimA[sup.3]) of an architectural firm. The trio's complicity in covering up Jara's death three years earlier threatens to be exposed, leading SimA[sup.3] to reflect on the man, and to further involve himself with the woman, both out of the need to find out what she may know and by passion. This ingenious premise allows SimA[sup.3] to backtrack through memory toward his first encounter with Jara, who complained of a crack in his wall purportedly caused by a neighboring construction site. He traces the subsequent days, which lead to the night of Jara's death, while simultaneously discovering in the present that Jara was not the victim he'd believed him to be. Guilt and obsession weave with everyday marital problems, creating a psychological drama of insidious thoughts that widen toward a disturbing conclusion.

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