Sunday, May 30, 2010

Santiago Roncagliolo: Red April

Maya Jaggi reviews Santiago Roncagliolo's Red April.
Mario Vargas Llosa's most despairing novel is a whodunit set amid the blood-steeped Maoist insurgency of Peru's Shining Path. Santiago Roncagliolo's Red April returns to the aftermath of that guerrilla war and counter-insurgency of the 1980s and 90s, when 70,000 people were killed. And like Vargas Llosa's Death in the Andes, it uses the crime thriller genre – notably the spectre of the serial killer – to riveting effect. Yet this novel of the post-boom generation also reveals how insidiously the investigator from Lima becomes part of the problem, as the moral line dissolves between terrorist and counter-terrorist.
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