Última noche en Granada – Franciso Ortiz

Última noche en Granada
Francisco Ortiz
Mira editores
Primera edición 2009
128 p.
ISBN: 978-84-8465-324-0

Su protagonista, Luis Castillo, es un policía retirado que trabaja como vigilante de obra. Cuando estaba en la policía mató a un hombre para defenderse, pero ahora van a por él y se siente amenzado. Además Castillo mantiene una difícil relación amorosa con Beatriz, una mujer casada. Víctima de malos tratos, Beatriz abandona a su marido. Estos dos acontecimientos independientes le obligan a Castillo a tomar algunas decisiones si quiere encarrilar su vida.

La historia, narrada en primera persona, es muy ágil gracias a sus numerosos diálogos. La novela está muy bien escrita y desde la primera página te mantiene en tensión. Se lee de un tirón. La he disfrutado y confío en que Francisco Ortiz publique pronto otro libro. Este, su primera novela, me ha gustado.

Francisco Ortiz (Ugíjar, Granada 1967) es escritor y fotógrafo. Sus relatos han aparecido en el libro Narrativa actual almeriense (Riomardesierto, 1992) y en la antología Microrrelato en Andalucía (Grupo Batarro, 2008). Última noche en Granada es la primera novela que publica. Desde hace algunos meses sigo a Francisco Ortiz a través de su excelente blog Novela negra y cine negro.

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Thursday Night Widows by Claudia Piñeiro

>Original title: Las viudas de los jueves(2005)

Claudia Piñeiro
Alfaguara, 2007
256 p.
ISBN: 978-84-204-7171-6

I have read Thursday Night Widows as part of my contribution to Dorte’s 2010 Global Reading Challenge (Argentina). I have to thank Maxine for bringing this book to my attention on her excellent blog Petrona.

The action is set in a gated community called Altos de la Cascada, Cascade Heights, located some 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Buenos Aires. Argentineans called them “countries”. You can find more information about gated communities in Wikipedia.

The main characters of this book are four couples living in this “country”. The four men get together on Thursday nights to play cards, wives are excluded; hence the title. After one Thursday night on September 27, 2001 the corpses of three of them, Tano Scaglia, Martin Urovich and Gustavo Masotta, are founded dead at the bottom of the swimming pool. Only one, Ronie Guevara who left earlier remains alive. Back at home his wife Virginia feels that there is something wrong with the strange behavior of her husband.

After this strong opening the account of the facts that lead to the events narrated in the first chapter moves backwards. The story is told from different female perspectives, most often from Virginia Guevara point of view. Her job as a real state agent in that closed community allows her to keep track of the different families that move in an out that “country”.

This is an excellent book that reflects the rise and fall of wealthy families at the verge of the social-economic crisis that hit Argentina in 2001; a moral tale that has universal implications and can be particularly appropriate in times of deep economic crisis. It is very well written what makes it an enjoyable reading and I strongly recommended. Don’t miss it.

Claudia Piñeiro is a journalist, playwright and television scriptwriter who won in 1992 the prestigious Pléyade journalism award. She turned to fiction and her first novel Thursday Night Widowswon the Clarin Prize in 2005.

The film Las viudas de los jueves, based on this book will be released in Spain this coming Friday, March 26. For more information click here.
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