Delincuente argentino (Argentinean Delinquent), Planeta, 2007 has not been released in English yet but, if my information is correct, it will be published soon, though I don’t know what the final title will be.
This is the second novel in Ernesto Mallo’s Lascano series and, if I’m right, he has just finished writing his third instalment. To some extent Lascano was resurrected in this book, what is not quite unusual in Latin America fiction, it has happened before. Mallo explains however that in Needle in a Haystack he wrote: ‘El policía que antes se acercó a Lascano, le pone dos dedos en la yugular y hace un gesto de abatimiento’ (page 209). (‘The policeman who approached Lascano before, puts two fingers on his jugular and makes a gesture of despair’ – my free translation). This enables him to resume his main character in this second instalment. Therefore although severely wounded ‘The Dog’ Lascano was not killed and we can find him again recovering from the wounds received during his confrontation with Giribaldi’s men. Lascano has lost everything, his house, his job as a Federal Commissar and Eva, the love of his life, who was forced into exile. But, decided to find her, he accepts a ‘job’ to provide him with the money needed. He must find ‘The Mole’ Miranda, an old school delinquent, who has robbed ‘black money’ from a bank. The setting is now the end of dictatorship and the advent of democracy. And I better stop here if I don’t want to give away too much of the story.
I’m fascinated by Mallo’s writing. His prose is concise and the book is beautifully written. I often found myself reading whole paragraphs aloud with an Argentinean accent enjoying, tasting and savouring each and everyone of his words. A delicious reading. In Delincuente argentino we found again some of his characters, besides ‘The Dog’ Lascano, together with a very interesting new one, ‘The Mole’ Miranda. His portrait of Argentina at the beginning of a new era is absolutely brilliant. Mallo is able to grab the readers’ attention in such a way that we are left trapped by the force of his prose and by the interest of his plot. It can be read as a standalone novel, it has some short summaries of his previous book to help the reader, but it can also be considered one more chapter to add to his previous book given its length. The good news is that there is another one coming. Just superb. Clearly it’s a five stars read.
See additional information in Spanish: Librería Estudio en Escarlata, El policial escrito en argentino por Guillermo Saccomanno, Pateando el Mundo.
Delincuente argentino. Ernesto Mallo. Planeta, 2007. 200 pages. ISBN: 978-950-49-1702-1