The Fragility of Bodies
*The first in a series of novels by Olguin starring the journalist Veronica Rosenthal. It is set in Buenos-Aires and has been made into a TV series currently showing in Argentina.
*Veronica is a successful young journalist, beautiful, unmarried, with a healthy appetite for bourbon and men. She is a fascinating and complicated heroine, driven by a sense of justice but also by lust and ambition.
*Sensual and terse, the novel is also fiercely critical of a system that tolerates the powerful and wealthy of Buenos Aires putting the lives of young boys at risk for their entertainment.
When she hears about the suicide of a local train driver who has jumped off the roof of a block of flats, leaving a suicide note confessing to four mortal `accidents’ on the train tracks, she decides to investigate. For the police the case is closed (suicide is suicide), for Veronica it is the beginning of a journey that takes her into an unfamiliar world of grinding poverty, junkie infested neighborhoods, and train drivers on commuter lines haunted by the memory of bodies hit at speed by their locomotives in the middle of the night.
Aided by a train driver informant, a junkie in rehab and two street kids willing to risk everything for a can of Coke, she uncovers a group of men involved in betting on working-class youngsters convinced to play Russian roulette by standing in front of fast-coming trains to see who endures the longest.
With bodies of children crushed under tons of steel, those of adults yielding to relentless desire, the resolution of the investigation reveals the deep bonds which unite desire and death.
Kirkus: The story is so gripping and Veronica is such a fascinating departure from crime fiction convention--she's 30, Jewish, brazen, and openly flawed--that the book becomes difficult to put down. Also a very good novel about journalism, it's the first instalment of a trilogy. An unusual, intoxicating thriller from Argentina that casts deeper and deeper shadows. Publishers Weekly, Starred Review: A scalding crime novel set in Buenos Aires. Olguin memorably explores the gulf between the haves and have-nots of her city. Readers will hope to see more of the complex Veronica. Financial Times: The late, great foreign correspondent Nicholas Tomalin once opined that a journalist needed three qualities to succeed: "ratlike cunning, a plausible manner and a little literary ability". Veronica Rosenthal, the protagonist of Sergio Olguin's lively new thriller The Fragility of Bodies, has these in spades. Olguin is a fine writer with an easy style, aided by a very readable translation by Miranda France. This is the first of a trilogy featuring Rosenthal. The series has already been turned into a television series and I'm looking forward to the next volume. CrimeReview: This is an excellent story, well told and translated, which sustains a high level of tension throughout. The reader is well aware of the risks to Veronica and those she co-opts in her research, and these culminate in violent and gripping action. In the background, we have Buenos Aires, with great disparities of wealth and prevalent corruption, but a strong sense of life being lived to the full. NB Magazine: The Fragility of Bodies is a powerful tale of murder and corruption set in Buenos Aires; it feels troublingly plausible. It will thrill readers with a taste for dark, gritty, real-world crime fiction. This novel is distilled single malt noir, a gripping reflection on the woes and angst of Argentinian society. SHOTS Magazine: This is how I like my noir fiction: no cops with unlikely hang-ups, no copycat serial killers, no 'here-we-go-again' plots. Olguin concentrates instead on villains and victims and several dollops of savage sex.
Book experts at your service
What are you looking for?