A subtle and enlightening novel about a neglected human rights pioneer by the Nobel Laureate Mario Vargas Llosa
Vargas Llosa, who has long been regarded as one of Latin America’s most vibrant, provocative, and necessary literary voices—a fact confirmed when the Peruvian writer was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2010—brings this complex character to life as no other writer can. This masterful work, sharply translated by Edith Grossman, tackles a controversial man whose story has long been neglected, and in so doing, pushes at the boundaries of historical novel.
This wonderful detective novel is set in Peru in the 1950s. Near an Air Force base in the northern desert, a young airman is found murdered. Lieutenant Silva and Officer Lituma investigate. Lacking a squad car, they have to cajole a local cabbie into taking them to the scene of the crime. Their superiors are indifferent; the commanding officer of the air base stands in their way; but Silva and Lituma are determined to uncover the truth. Who Killed Palomino Molero, an entertaining and brilliantly plotted mystery, takes up one of Vargas Llosa's characteristic themes: the despair at how hard it is to be an honest man in a corrupt society.