Review: “The Neruda Case”

In 1972, or so, Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, dying of cancer in Valparaiso while Allende’s government falls apart, hires Cuban exile Cayetano Brulé to find a woman he knew 30 years before, in the hopes that the daughter she bore was his, rather than her husband’s. Because Cayetano, as he’s called throughout, has no detective […]

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Review: “Hat Dance”

Emilia Cruz Encino, Acapulco’s first, and so far only, female police detective, continues to struggle with corruption, institutional misogyny, class conflict, a slightly crazy mother, and the difficulties of an inter-racial relationship while attempting to stop a series of fire-bombings targeting high-end restaurants and nightclubs around the bay, without access to the technology that has […]

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Review: Country of the Bad Wolfes

The book relates a 100-year family history, beginning with twin boys, their father a vague sort of pirate executed in Mexico, their mother a tavern owner. The boys, intelligent, adventurous, and educated, wander separately under different circumstances and for very different reasons from the New England of their birth to Mexico. Their families, unknown to […]

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Review: “The Rules of Wolfe” by James Carlos Blake

Ambitious Edward leaves the family gun-running business for what he thinks are the greener pastures of the cross-border drug trade. Youthful hormones and boredom land him in great trouble. This novel is hard to place in a genre — the cover pretty accurately calls it “Border Noir” — but it’s plotted like a Western with […]

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Belmont and Fishtown: On diverging classes in the United States

Charles Murray The New Criterion January 2012 Using the fictional residents of the upscale Belmont and the grubbier Fishtown, Charles Murray, co-author of The Bell Curve and currently of the American Enterprise Institute, assembles statistics to demonstrate and then explicate the emergence of two distinct classes in the United States, classes which, for the first […]