The Alphabet in Crime Fiction, M is for Mallo, Ernesto Mallo


Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión española desplazarse por la pantalla hacia abajo

  The Alphabet in Crime Fiction is a Community Meme hosted by Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise. It is never too late to join in on this meme and you don’t have to post each week if reading (or life) gets in the way. Check HERE to see who else has posted and visit their blog (and leave a comment if you can).

My “M” is for Mallo, Ernesto Mallo (Argentina 1948) started out as a playwright and script writer, beginning his career as a novelist in 2004. His first novel Needle in a Haystack (Bitter Lemon, 2010) – Original Spanish title: La aguja en el pajar (Planeta, 2006) aka Crimen en el Barrio del Once, was a finalist for the Clarín-Alfaguara Novel Prize, in 2006, and received the Silverio Cañada Memorial Prize 2007, given during the Noir Week festival held in Gijón. Belonging to the detective genre, Mallo’s novels, while works of fiction, are always grounded in precise historical moments. (From Guillermo Schavelzon Agencia Literaria)

Sweet Money (Bitter Lemon, 2011) – Original Spanish title: Delincuente argentino (Planeta, 2007), his second novel, will be released in the UK in June 2011 and in the US in October 2011.

See also Bitter Lemon Press.

Publisher’s blurb: Superintendent Lascano is a detective working under the shadow of military rule in Buenos Aires in the late 1970s. He is sent to investigate the discovery of two bodies but when he arrives at the roadside crime scene he finds three. Two are clearly the work of the junta’s death squads, and so should not be investigated by the police, but the other one seems different. Lascano follows the trail, leading the reader on a tour of a Buenos Aires poisoned to the core by the military regime.
Lascano must navigate gingerly among characters symbolic of an Argentina that has lost its way: Amancio, whose privileged upbringing makes him unable to deal with the collapse of his fortunes; Biterman, the miser, embittered beyond hope by his experiences in Nazi Germany; Eva the young radical, condemned to a life on the run, death or exile, but forced to take refuge with a cop; Giribaldi, the army major, quick to help old friends, but cruel and contemptuous of everyday civilians. Buenos Aires, corrupted by the military regime, is as important a character as any other.
Lascano must uphold the law among the people and turn a blind eye to the actions of the regime, trying to bring justice to an unjust society, where some crimes are for investigation, others are not. Of course, the crime he investigates in Needle in a Haystack turns out to be one of those he should not.
[Reviews] Search inside this book.

Following Needle In a Haystack (Bitter Lemon, 2010), the second book in the trilogy featuring Inspector Lascano, Sweet Money (Bitter Lemon, 2011), is set in the early 1980s, just after the fall of the dictatorship.

Publisher’s blurb: Superintendent Lascano is drawn into a war between the Buenos Aires Chief of Police and the Apostles, drug-dealing cops who want to control the city. When the Chief of Police is murdered Lascano becomes the Apostles’ next target. His only way out of the country is to retrieve the loot from a bungled bank robbery.
Mallo paints a scathing portrait of Argentina where the Junta’s generals are paraded in court in civilian clothes, treated like mere petty thieves. The mothers and grandmothers of “The Plaza de Mayo” see the people who have stolen their children go unpunished; corruption and violence continue to rule. But at the centre of the novel is a touching portrayal of two broken men, a cop and a robber, whose humanity is sorely tested by the times and events racking this proud country

Visit Amazon’s Ernesto Mallo Page

Ernesto Mallo’s Official Website

My previous posts:

El Alfabeto del Crimen, M es por Mallo, Ernesto Mallo

El Alfabeto del Crimen es un meme organizado por Kerrie en Mysteries in Paradise Nunca es demasiado tarde para unirse a este meme y usted no tiene por  qué publicar cada semana si la lectura (o la vida) se interpone en el camino. AQUÍ puede ver lo que otros participantes han publicado, visitar su blog y dejar un comentario si quiere.

Mi "M"es por Mallo, Ernesto Mallo (Argentina 1948) se inició como dramaturgo y guionista y, el 2004 empezó su faceta como novelista. Su primera novela La aguja en el pajar (Planeta, 2006), se acaba de publicar en España como Crimen en el Barrio del Once (Siruela, 2011), fue finalista del Premio Clarín-Alfaguara de Novela, 2006 y obtuvo el Premio Memorial Silverio Cañada, que otorga la Semana Negra de Gijón. Adscrito al género policial, las novelas de Mallo, aunque relatos de ficción, siempre tienen anclajes y personajes en momentos históricos precisos. (Guillermo Schavelzon Agencia Literaria). Delincuente argentino (Planeta, 2007), su segunda novela, será publicada en el Reino Unido en junio de 2011 y en los EE.UU. en octubre de 2011.

En España La aguja en el pajar (Planeta, 2006),se ha publicado en Siruela bajo el título Crimen en el Barrio del Once. La propaganda de la editorial dice: “Lascano, el Perro, un comisario de policía trastornado por la reciente muerte de su mujer, recibe un aviso: han aparecido dos cadáveres cerca del Riachuelo. Pero en el lugar del crimen descubrirá un tercer cuerpo que no tiene las características de los «fusilados» de la época, el de un prestamista judío del Barrio del Once. Investigar el caso no será fácil para Lascano…
En esta novela policiaca, con el marco histórico de la dictadura y violencia política que vivió Argentina en los años 1970, policías, militares, jóvenes en la clandestinidad y miembros de la clase alta componen una trama en la que el juego de los personajes, la riqueza de las descripciones y los diálogos alcanzan una memorable potencia narrativa.
Ernesto Mallo exhibe un dominio admirable de la mejor tradición policiaca al tratar este tema que conoció de primera mano, manteniendo de forma magistral el suspense en una historia compleja, ajustada al milímetro y que no da respiro al lector
.” (Siruela)

La propaganda editorial de Delincuente argentino dice: “El fin de la dictadura y el advenimiento de la democracia. Asesinos y ladrones, policías y militares se siguen cruzando en un teatro en donde buenos y malos redefinen sus roles en el país que se viene. El "Perro" Lascano se recupera de las heridas que recibió en un enfrentamiento con el grupo de tareas del mayor Giribaldi. Lo perdió todo: su casa, su trabajo como comisario de la Federal y a Eva, el amor de su vida, que debió exiliarse. Decidido a partir en su busca, acepta un "trabajo" que le proveerá el dinero necesario para encarar el viaje: tiene que dar con el "Topo" Miranda, un delincuente a la antigua que robó dinero "negro" de un banco.”

Visit Amazon’s Ernesto Mallo Page

Ernesto Mallo’s Official Website

Mis entradas anteriores:

5 thoughts on “The Alphabet in Crime Fiction, M is for Mallo, Ernesto Mallo”

  1. >Nice post, and good choice of author. Having read Needle in a Haystack, I am at a loss to know how there can be a sequel! But I'll have to wait a while to find out, until Sweet Money is translated into English. I wonder what Ernesto Mallo thinks of the film "The Secret in their Eyes", which took place during some of this period?

  2. >Thanks for this contribution to the CFA Jose Ignacio. I have a Mallo lurking on my Kindle, but haven't got around to it yet. I really must!

  3. >José Ignacio – Now this is an excellent choice! You're also tempting me to get Sweet Money, too! This meme is not going to be good for my TBR… ;-).

  4. >Mallo sounds like an intriguing author. I did not see on the post your personal opinion. If I am correct I would be intersted in your opinion.

  5. >Maxine, Kerrie, Margot, Bill, thansk for your comments.Bill you can find my opinion on my links enclosed.Anyhow what I said about Needle in a Haystack: "Ernesto Mallo uses the crime fiction genre, more specifically a police procedural, to account for some of the atrocities committed during the ‘Dirty War’, a period of state-sponsored violence in Argentina. What is remarkable and it is worthwhile to highlight is his ability to avoid writing a biased book, since he was a member of a revolutionary movement during those years. In less than 200 pages Mallo offers a complex and intense story providing, at the same time, the portrait of an era.But Mallo is also an excellent storyteller, and as someone has already stated Mallo knows very well what he is talking about but above all he knows how to narrate. The book is beautifully written and its dialogues have an original and very interesting structure. The book is cleverly plotted and is told from different points of view, an interesting device that helps keep the reader’s attention. Towards the end of the book the chapters’ size are gradually reduced providing the right pace. As correctly observed by Maxine at Petrona it is also a love-story. Do yourself a favour and read it, you won't regret it, this is a superb book."Regarding Sweet Money I wrote: "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."

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