Title: Urgent Matters
Author: Paula Rodríguez
Publisher: Pushkin Vertigo
Publication Date: 3rd November 2022
A train crashes in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, leaving forty-three people dead. A prayer card of Saint Expeditus, the patron saint of urgent matters, flutters above the wreckage.
Hugo, a criminal on the run for murder, is on the train. He seizes his chance to sneak out of the wreckage unsuspected, abandoning his possessions – and, he hopes, his identity – among bodies mangled beyond all recognition.
As the police descend on the scene, only grizzled Detective Domínguez sees a link between the crash and his murder case. Soon, he’s on Hugo’s tail. But he hasn’t banked on everything from the media to Hugo’s mother-in-law getting in the way.
I often find translated fiction incredibly exciting to read because it usually takes me somewhere new and introduces me to a new writing style and Urgent Matters does exactly that. We are thrown into this story and meet Hugo, a survivor in the immediate aftermath of a deadly train crash in Buenos Aires. However there is a lot more to his story, Hugo is on the run and uses the crash as an opportunity of sorts. From there, we are taken on a propulsive journey barrelling from chapter to chapter with the point of view switching from character to character. I read Urgent Matters in just a couple of sitting because it is the kind of book that demands you keep turning the pages. It is a perfect slice of Argentine Noir with a current of dark humour running through it and I would highly recommend picking this up if you are looking for a sharp, energetic and compelling read.
I kindly received a copy of the book from the publisher. My review is entirely my own honest opinion.
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