Tango for a Torturer

Overview

Aldo Bianchi, a former Argentine revolutionary now living in Italy, travels to Havana, where he meets the beautiful Bini, a sultry student with great charm and panache working the hotels. Bianchi soon discovers via his liaison with Bini that his nemesis, the Uruguayan military torturer Alberto Ríos, is living under a false identity in Cuba. Putting his tropical holiday on hold, Bianchi goes on the hunt for his sadistic enemy.

Daniel Chavarría authentically portrays the ...

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Tango for a Torturer

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Overview

Aldo Bianchi, a former Argentine revolutionary now living in Italy, travels to Havana, where he meets the beautiful Bini, a sultry student with great charm and panache working the hotels. Bianchi soon discovers via his liaison with Bini that his nemesis, the Uruguayan military torturer Alberto Ríos, is living under a false identity in Cuba. Putting his tropical holiday on hold, Bianchi goes on the hunt for his sadistic enemy.

Daniel Chavarría authentically portrays the sensuousness and skullduggery of contemporary Havana, a city that offers erotic thrills to pleasure-seeking tourists, even as it hides villains in its humid embrace. While Ríos thrives on bribery and corruption, Bianchi is driven by a desire to see justice done. Tango for a Torturer is a sexy and political thriller chock-full of bawdy humor and chilling evocations of the evils wrought by Latin American military dictatorships.

Daniel Chavarría, a former Tupamaros who hijacked a plane to fly himself to Havana in 1969, is a Uruguayan writer with two passions: classical literature and prostitutes. For years he was a professor of Latin, Greek, and classical literature, devoting much of his time and energy to researching the origins and evolution of prostitution. He has won numerous literary awards around the world, including the 1992 Dashiell Hammett Award and the 2002 Edgar Allan Poe Award. His novels Adios Muchachos and The Eye of Cybele are also published by Akashic Books. He lives in Havana.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

A one-time Argentine revolutionary exacts an inventive revenge on the ex-military man who once did him a horrible wrong in this superior crime novel from Uruguayan author Charvarría (whose 2001's Adios Muchachoswon an Edgar). While visiting Havana, Aldo Bianchi, now in his mid-50s and living in Italy, falls in love with Bini, a spectacularly beautiful, not particularly monogamous 27-year-old woman. In the midst of his efforts to talk her into marrying him, he discovers that the now retired Uruguayan military officer who tortured him and killed his girlfriend years earlier is living in Havana, enjoying a happy life under the false name Alberto Ríos. Intent upon seeing harsh justice done, Bianchi employs every trick he can, including Bini's personal charms, to lure Ríos into a complicated trap. The author, who lives in Havana, brings to his novel a superlative narrative sense, keen feel for human behavior in desperate situations and a deep understanding of the nature of dictatorships. Charvarría is as adept at comedy as he is at tragedy. (May)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
A torrid tangle of crime, corruption and lust in contemporary Cuba. Though closing in on 60, Aldo Bianchi has the body and energy of a man a generation younger. So naturally the expatriate Argentine rebel, visiting Havana from his current home in Italy, has a hot young Cuban girlfriend. Bini, a working girl on the make, still considers Aldo her main hombre. Perhaps coincidentally, Alberto R'os, a former Uruguayan military strongman with whom Aldo and Bini have both had histories, is also in Havana, keeping a low profile with a new identity. When a bicyclist is found murdered on the city outskirts, footprints left on the scene make Aldo a prime suspect. The investigation by shrewd police captain Bastidas becomes the matrix around which many other crosscurrents and lesser characters swirl. Chavarr'a moves his story both forward and backward, filling in details of Bini's rough upbringing and Alberto's history of violence and strategic maneuvering. Alberto's enigmatic sidekick Raquelita prompts much speculation. At the same time, Gonzalo and Aurelia, Aldo's confidantes, gossip incessantly while protecting his flank. Alberto turns up the charm to raise his profile with local political and crime bosses, who are often one and the same. At his best, Chavarr'a (Adios Muchachos, 2001, etc.) has the stylish grit of Elmore Leonard, but his colorful characters often beguile him far from his main plot.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933354194
  • Publisher: Akashic Books
  • Publication date: 5/1/2007
  • Pages: 390
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Daniel Chavarría was born in Uruguay in 1933. Chavarría has worked as a translator of literature into Spanish, and has taught Latin, Greek and Classical Literature. His novels, short stories, literary journalism, and screenplays have reached audiences across Latin America and Europe. Chavarría has won numerous literary awards around the world, including a 1992 Dashiell Hammett Award.
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