Roberto Ampuero

Following to the information at the Literary Saloon, yesterday Saturday, 9 June 2012: Translating Roberto Ampuero, I thought the following information maybe of interest to some readers. 

Roberto Ampuero (Valparaíso, 1953) is a Chilean author, columnist, and a university professor. His first novel ¿Quién mató a Kristián Kustermann? was published in 1993 and in it he introduced his private eye, Cayetano Brulé, winning the Revista del Libro prize of El Mercurio. Since then the detective has appeared in five books: Boleros in Havana, The German of Atacama, Appointment at the Azul Profundo, Nighthawks and The Neruda Case. Brulé, a Chilean detective of Cuban origin, travels the world investigating cases which often take him to his customary haunts: East Berlin, Havana, Prague, Valparaiso and Mexico. In addition he has published an autobiographical novel about his years in Cuba titled Nuestros Años Verde Olivo (1999) and the novels Los Amantes de Estocolmo and Pasiones Griegas. His novels have been published in Latin America and Spain, and have been translated into German, French, Italian, Chinese, Swedish, Portuguese, Greek, Croatian, and English. In Chile his works have sold more than 40 editions. A graduate of the prestigious International Writers’Workshop (IWP) of the University of Iowa, he is now a professor at the University of Iowa in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. He was a columnist of La Tercera and the New York Times Syndicate and since March 2009 has been working as a columnist for El Mercurio. He has lived in Chile, Cuba, Germany, Sweden, and since 2000 in the United States. (Information taken from: Guillermo Schavelzon Agencia Literaria and Wikipedia)

Cayetano Brulé Book Series:

¿Quién mató a Cristián Kustermann? Planeta, 1993. (Who Killed Cristián Kusterman?) Carlos Kustermann, a wealthy man, visits Cayetano Brulé, a private eye, to clarify the murder of his son Christian. Clues lead Brulé to travel to Germany and Cuba.



Boleros en La Habana, Planeta, 1994. (Boleros in Havana) Cayetano Brulé returns to his native Cuba. An eccentric singer of boleros hires his services to retrieve a juicy booty (half a million of Sorrows). However, Brulé discovers that behind the loss of money is hidden a mafia network that operates in full view of the authorities in the Caribbean, Europe and Chile. With  cinematographic realism, the novel leads the reader through the dark side of Havana: bohemia, crime and sex come together to the rhythm of tropical music.


El alemán de Atacama, Planeta, 1996. (The German of Atacama)Third novel featuring Cayetano Brulé, a Cuban who survives precariously as a private eye in Valparaiso. Excellent story with great attention to detail in creating atmospheres that uses crime fiction to analyse social and political unbalances.



Cita en el Azul Profundo, Planeta, 2004. (Appointment at the Azul Profundo) In one of his most risky and complex adventures, Brulé traverses recognizable landscapes and places in Chile, Stockholm, Havana and Mexico in the wake of a murder in the Azul Profundo, a well-known Chilean restaurant. Brulé was not only present when the crime was committed, but had been summoned to the restaurant by the victim to discuss an exceedingly private matter. As events unfold, the Cuban investigator follows the trail of a mysterious and intricate international conspiracy, which reaches its climax during a rather peculiar ceremony at La Moneda Palace.

Halcones de la noche, Planeta, 2005. (Nighthawks) A group of exiled Cuban dissidents decide to assassinate Fidel Castro. For the job, they have contracted Lucio Ross, an international mercenary who lives in Chiloé. Ross requests absolute freedom in carrying out the mission, devising a plan that will take him to Germany and Russia. When the American government catches wind of the conspiracy, however, fearing that Fidel’s death will leave Cuba leaderless and result in an exodus of Cubans to the United States, it decides to have the CIA intervene in order to prevent the homicide. The CIA turns to Cayetano Brulé, extorting him to accept the mission of tracking down the assassin and avoiding the assassination. In Halcones de la Noche, Ampuero is reunited with his highly likable detective Cayetano Brulé, and the result is a formidable novel noteworthy for its masterful handling of suspense and rendered in precise, agile prose full of narrative vitality.

El caso Neruda, Norma-La Otra Orilla, 2008. (The Neruda Case) An old and sick Pablo Neruda has just returned to Chile after leaving his post as ambassador for the government of Salvador Allende in Paris. In a life filled with accomplishments, there remains one mystery left for him to uncover. A profound doubt torments the poet as his death approaches. In the winter of 1973, he meets Cuban Cayetano Brulé, who he involves in an investigation that will change the latter’s life forever. Meanwhile, back in Chile, the poet waits impatiently amidst an atmosphere of tension produced by the imminent military coup against the government. A novel that combines intrigue, poetry, romantic passions, and the end of an era.

More information at Mis Queridos Sabuesos: Blog de Novela Negra (in Spanish)

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