The Buenos Aires Quintet (Pepe Carvalho Series)

Overview

Assignment: Finding one of Argentina's 30,000 "Disappeared" ... likely outcome: Becoming one yourself.

The Argentine army's "Dirty War" disappeared 30,000 people, and the last thing Pepe Carvalho wants is to investigate one of the vanished, even if that missing person is his cousin. But blood proves thicker than a fine Mendoza Cabernet Sauvignon, even for a jaded gourmand like Pepe, and so at his family's request he leaves Barcelona for Buenos ...

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The Buenos Aires Quintet (Pepe Carvalho Series)

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Overview

Assignment: Finding one of Argentina's 30,000 "Disappeared" ... likely outcome: Becoming one yourself.

The Argentine army's "Dirty War" disappeared 30,000 people, and the last thing Pepe Carvalho wants is to investigate one of the vanished, even if that missing person is his cousin. But blood proves thicker than a fine Mendoza Cabernet Sauvignon, even for a jaded gourmand like Pepe, and so at his family's request he leaves Barcelona for Buenos Aires.

What follows is perhaps Manuel Vázquez Montalbán's masterpiece: a combination white-knuckle investigation and moving psychological travelogue. Pepe quickly learns that "Buenos Aires is a beautiful city hell-bent on self-destruction," and finds himself on a trail involving boxers and scholars, military torturers and seductive semioticians, Borges fans and cold-blooded murderers.

And despite the wonders of the Tango and the country's divine cuisine, he also knows one thing: He'll have to confront the traumas of Argentina's past head on if he wants not only to find his cousin, but simply stay alive. 

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Montalbán does for Barcelona what Chandler did for Los Angeles— he exposes the criminal power relationships beneath the façade of democracy.”
THE GUARDIAN

“Montalbán writes with authority and compassion— a le Carré-like sorrow.”
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

"What’s not to like about a detective who, at the end of a hard day’s sleuthing, rustles up a duck ragout at 1 in the morning and then sits down to eat it?" — THE DAILY BEAST

“A writer who is caustic about the powerful and tender towards the oppressed.”
TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

“Carvalho travels down the mean calles with humor, perception, and compassion.”
THE TIMES (LONDON)

“Does for modern Barcelona what Dickens did for 19th century London.”
TOTAL

“Carvalho is funny . . . scathingly witty about the powerful. He is an original eccentric, burning books and cooking all night. Like Chandler’s Phillip Marlowe, he is a man of honor walking the mean streets of a sick society.”
THE INDEPENDENT (LONDON)

“A sharp wit and a knowing eye.”
SUNDAY TIMES (LONDON)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781612190341
  • Publisher: Melville House Publishing
  • Publication date: 3/27/2012
  • Series: Pepe Carvalho Series
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 475,417
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Born in Barcelona in 1939, MANUEL VÁZQUEZ MONTALBÁN (1939–2003) was a member of Partit Socialista Unificat de Catalunya (PSUC), and was jailed by the Franco government for four years for supporting a miners’ strike. A columnist for Madrid’s El País, as well as a prolific poet, playwright, and essayist, Vázquez Montalbán was also a well-known gourmand who wrote often about food. The nineteen novels in his Pepe Carvalho series have won international acclaim, including the Planeta prize (1979) and the International Grand Prix de Littérature Policière (1981), both for Southern Seas. He died in 2003 in Thailand, on his way home to Barcelona.

NICK CAISTOR’S translations from the Spanish and the Portuguese include works by José Saramago and Paulo Coelho, and he is the author of Che Guevara: A Life.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    a reviewer

    His uncle hires Catalan private investigator Pepe Carvalho to go to Buenos Aires to learn what happened to Raul Touron. Beyond Diego Maradona, Pepe knows nothing about the country except that his cousin worked there before the military coup of ¿76 as a research behavioral scientist who discovered a link between rat behavior and the quality of their food. The military sold Raul¿s concept and put it to use to destroy the opposition subversives Peronists. Raul joined the rebels, but a year later his wife and baby were abducted though he spent time in prison too.--------------- Pepe knows that a Spaniard cannot work as a private sleuth in Argentina so he hires elderly Don Vito Altofini as a front. They establish an office and Pepe begins the investigation with University Professor Alma, Raul¿s sister in-law. She provides little help only more questions especially why he would come home from exile except perhaps to find his daughter. Others seek the missing man too and they do not welcome the Spaniard sleuth as they have plans once they catch up to Raul that Pepe is not a part of.----------------- THE BUENOS AIRES QUINTET is a fabulous private investigate tale that brings out the impact over two decades after its fall of the vicious military rule (1976-1983) in Argentina. The fast-paced story line never takes a break with Pepe on the case while others are willing to harm, maim or kill the foreigner as he gets in the way. Readers will enjoy his ¿illegal¿ misadventures with only his laid back partner seemingly on his side.--------------- Harriet Klausner

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