Title: A Crack in the Wall
Author: Claudia Piñeiro
Translator: Miranda France
Publisher: Bitter Lemon Press
Pablo Simó’s life is a mess. His career as an architect is at a dead-end; reduced to designing soulless office buildings desecrating the heart of Buenos Aires. His marriage seems to be one endless argument with his wife over the theatrics of their rebellious teenage daughter. To complicate matters, Pablo has long been attracted to sexy office secretary Marta Horvat, who is probably having an affair with his boss. Everything changes with the unexpected appearance of Leonor, a beautiful young woman who brings to light a crime that happened years before, a crime that everyone in the office wants forgotten, at all costs.
Piñeiro once again demonstrates her capacity to reveal the things hidden behind the facades of our existence; human relationships based on habit and cowardice, rather than love; on excessive ambition and personal gain, rather than morality.
I always enjoy reading translated fiction because I think writing from different countries always has a slightly different feel and style to it and I love experiencing that. A Crack in the Wall is a great example of something a bit different from what I usually read and I really enjoyed this fascinating character study. It is set in Buenos Aires and follows Pablo Simó, an architect with a dark secret in his past. He is a man whose life is slowly coming apart at the seams as he tries to cope with the various aspects of his existence and relationships.
A Crack in the Wall is elegantly written and manages to get right to the heart of a man struggling with his morality and to deal with the people in his life. Pablo Simó is not a perfect or perhaps even a good man, he is flawed and sometimes downright selfish but Piñeiro somehow manages to make him sort of likeable. I was still rooting for him to get himself out of the tricky situations he finds himself in even when I disagreed with his decisions. This is not a book full of action, it is a really interesting look at the darker aspects of human relationships and the cracks that form in ordinary lives. It examines what happens when those cracks start to split open and you are forced to make a choice about how to deal with them. A Crack in the Wall is an intriguing literary crime novel from an author I’ll definitely be reading more from.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher. My review is my own honest opinion.