Published: Abacus, 2008
When a young Argentinian writer with a looming deadline breaks his wrist, his editor suggests employing a typist to help him complete his work. Coincidentally it happens that a very competent typist who usually works for the famous but reclusive crime novelist, Kloster, is free for the next month while he is away at a writers’ retreat. And so the young and pretty student, Luciana comes to work for the unnamed narrator of this very unusual story.
Ten years later, he gets a phone call from a distraught Luciana asking for his help. Everyone close to her is dying in unusual circumstances and she is accusing Kloster of murdering them. She claims that Kloster is punishing her because she sued him for sexual harassment, which led to a devastating personal tragedy for him. Luciana begs for his help to stop Kloster before the last two members of her family die.
Against his will the narrator finds himself drawn into Luciana’s problems, and at her insistence, confronts Kloster, who he finds has a credible explanation for all of Luciana’s accusations.
The reader, like the narrator swings between believing and disbelieving Luciana. Is she mad, paranoid or completely sane? Is Kloster totally innocent or an extremely clever killer? The line between fact and fiction became extremely blurred, and by the end it was really no clearer.
The characters didn’t really engage me, none of them being particularly likable, and the story was strange and a little confusing. The Book of Murder kept me reading, although ultimately I found it a little unsatisfying.
Guillermo Martinez has a PhD in Mathematics and lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Book of Murder is his second novel.
#amreading Days Are Like Grass, Sue Younger
5 days ago