MYSTERY

Like Flies from Afar

Farrar. Mar. 2020. 224p. ISBN 9780374239947. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780374718831. M
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This short novel, Argentinian writer Ferrari’s first to appear in English, introduces Luis Machi, an oligarch of vulgar habits and loathsome tastes, who gets a flat while driving his $200,000 BMW. It’s not an accident. Someone has put caltrops on the road, knowing Luis would drive across them and destroy his tires. When he opens his trunk to find a replacement, inside he discovers a very dead, very messy corpse. His goal is get rid of the body, clean up the car and clothes, and hide any evidence of anything ever happening to him. With so many enemies, the effort to figure out who set him up is fruitless, and every step he takes makes things worse.
VERDICT This amazing mix of crime novel and detective story—think Jim Thompson—is even more of a nightmare—think Kafka—stunning in its power and originality. It should entice foremost crime noir aficionados, with potential to break out to a wider audience.

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