William Bayer is the author of numerous crime novels published in ebook and audiobook form by Crossroad Press. His books have won the Best Novel Edgar Award, the Lambda Prize, and the French prizes, Prix Mystere de Critique. He lives in the California wine country with his wife, food writer Paula Wolfert.
City of Knivesby William Bayer
MARTA ABECASIS, homicide detective, known as La Incorrupta ("the incorruptible one") is assigned to investigate the murder of a prostitute. As her investigation
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CITY OF KNIVES is a psychological thriller set in one of the world's most fascinating cities. The destinies of four main characters, each pursuing his/her own agenda, intersect in Buenos Aires.
MARTA ABECASIS, homicide detective, known as La Incorrupta ("the incorruptible one") is assigned to investigate the murder of a prostitute. As her investigation unfolds she uncovers a political conspiracy involving powerful people who will stop at nothing to obstruct her.
BETH BROWDER, a San Francisco teacher, comes to Buenos Aires to search for her missing lover and to immerse herself in the tango. Soon after her arrival she is drawn into a frightening decadent demimonde that pushes her to the brink of madness.
DR. TOMÁS HUDSON, a psychoanalyst specializing in the treatment of the damaged children of los desaparecidos ("the disappeared ones"), is approached by an extortionist offering to sell him the name of the person responsible for the arrest and murder of his wife.
HANK BARNES, a militaria dealer, is hired by an anonymous stranger to travel to Buenos Aires to retrieve a long-lost jewel-encrusted dagger that once belonged to Nazi leader, Hermann Goering. As he pursues this quest, he suspects he is being manipulated by the intelligence service of a foreign government.
Other characters include a corrupt priest, a young investigative journalist, an incestuous brother-sister, and an imprisoned right-wing military leader. The city in which they cross paths becomes a character itself – Buenos Aires, rich and cruel, haunted by a violent past, a gorgeous city of intrigue and decay, a dangerous city...a City Of Knives.
PRAISE FOR THE FRENCH LANGUAGE EDITION:
QUOTIDIEM NATIONAL: "A breath taking plunge into the plagues and wounds of a capital city haunted by 'disappeared ones' and dictatorship, rot and false appearances. Saturated by the tango, this is a captivating novel."
LIBERATION: "Intrigue reminiscent of the thrillers of John Le Carre. Superb!"
LE PARISIEN: "My heart was captured by William Bayer's City Of Knives. A series of murders that recall the torture methods of the dictatorship, and, in parallel, a young American woman passionate about tango. The author captures the essence of South America."
EXPRESSION ACTIVE: "A profound immersion in Argentina revealed by the author...a majestic work, masterly and passionate."
Film director, CLAUDE CHABROL: "A great noir novel."
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I read this book in the French version when it first came out. It's one of those books that stayed with me for a long time. The characters are unforgettable, the atmosphere dark, the setting of Buenos Aires and the tango clubs fascinating. One of the best psychological thrillers I've read in a long time. Thank you, William Bayer!
An exceptionally fine novel set in Buenos Aires, one of my favorite cities. If you love tango, as I do, you will love this book. The dance sequences are as good as anything I've read on tango and the crime story is solid. An excellent portrait too of the Argentine obsession with psychoanalysis. Highly recommended.
I could not put this one down. I literally read this in one sitting. The characters are all fascinating and complex. The "psychological thriller" moniker does not give this novel justice. It is just so much more. Being a movie buff I can't help but equate City of Knives to a great thriller. Like Boys from Brazil meets The Untouchables meets Smiley's People. I hope this is made into a movie so I can say "yes, the movie is good but it's not as good as the book."
This book was good but due to its length and overall storyline, I wouldn't give it more than 3 stars. Interesting and enlightening info about Buenos Aires that I truly enjoyed but the content was kind of all over the place. It all came together at the end but then it just ended...too quickly in my opinion. I'd probably give the author another chance by reading another of his novels then I'll have a better opinion of his work.