Saturday, 3 April 2021

#BlogTour Repentance by Eloísa Díaz


It's a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Repentence by Eloísa Díaz.

About the Author

Eloísa Díaz is a Spanish writer and lawyer living in Madrid. She completed her MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University in 2013. Díaz’s parents emigrated from Argentina to Spain to escape the dictatorship, her father arriving when he was just a child and her mother, as a teenager. Repentance, which Díaz wrote in English, is her debut novel.

Follow @eloisaescribe, Visit eloisadiaz.net

About the book

Buenos Aires, 1981. - Inspector Alzada’s work in the Buenos Aires police force during the Dirty War exposes him to the many realities of life under a repressive military regime: desperate people, angry people and - most of all - missing people.

Personally, he prefers to stay out of politics, favouring a steady job and domesticity with his wife Paula over the path taken by his hot-headed revolutionary brother, Jorge.  But when Jorge is disappeared, Alzada knows he will stop at nothing to recover him.

Buenos Aires, 2001. - Argentina is in the midst of yet another devastating economic crisis.

Alzada is still an inspector. He’s burnt out, frustrated that he hasn’t been able to affect real change, and convinced of the futility of yet another doomed Argentinian attempt at democracy. This time he is determined to remain a detached bystander, to keep his head down in anticipation of a peaceful retirement with Paula and the nephew they’ve raised together.

However, his plans are once again derailed as the riots gain traction and a young woman’s dead body lands in the dumpster behind the morgue on the same day that a woman from one of the city’s wealthiest families goes missing.

Review

Inspector Alzada lives in country that has always been a hub of political dissent with a dark past, especially when it comes to eliminating the opposing voices, something Alzada has personal experience with. If the past has taught him anything it's that stirring the pot, even if it is one full of poison, will only bring heavy repercussions on his family. So he tends to keep a low profile and ignore a lot even when he is trying to solve a crime.

I think what becomes apparent in the present is the futility of trying to do the right thing when it comes to solving crimes. Is that even possible given the hierarchy of duplicity and oppression. Ideology does not necessarily incur change, which is incredibly frustrating for Alzada.

In a way the crime itself becomes superfluous, because it is secondary to the main point and focus of the book. Hopefully Alzada will be back and given the chance to show us what he reads like as a detective, but for now this book is very much about one family and their experience in Argentina as right-wing populism seeps into the soil of the nation, sows seeds of destruction and reaps sorrow, fear and mistrust.

Díaz does this really clever thing, whilst the story goes from 1981 and back to 2001. As the reader goes back and forth the author is creating direct parallels from the past to the present. At times it felt as if Alzada was contemplating paths taken, choices made and how to not make the same mistakes again. His brother as the rebel, his nephew as the protester and Alzada in the shadows as the bystander not wanting to be drawn in.

The author has a distinct writing voice and an intriguing way of inserting the current political landscape into what is a crime read come historical political narrative, and yet simultaneously still not being a pure crime read or political thriller. Definitely an author to watch.

Buy Repentance at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson on 4 February 2021 in hardback: £14.99 eBook: £7.99, and audio: £19.99. Buy at Amazon com.

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