It is December 2001 and Argentina is in meltdown. Pablo Martelli, once in an elite branch of the police force known as the "National Shame", is a shadow of his former self, scraping by as a bathroom-appliance salesman. Late one evening, Martelli is summoned to a friend's coastal retreat. He arrives to find his friend dead, and is caught up in a bewildering odyssey that leads him though vast, empty pampas, along endless highways and into ghost towns seething danger and brutality, to the ailing heart of his country.
I came away from this book with a very strong sense of a culture that is profoundly different from my own, despite the idea that the main character Pablo Martelli seems to spend as much time driving great distances as we do. I also came away from this book with a profound sense of confusion. To this day, I'm really not sure what on earth was going on, I'm not even 100% that Martelli knew what was happening, and there were points when I wondered aloud if the author had the slightest idea what was supposed to be happening as well.
I won't be at all surprised to hear that many fans of straight up and down crime fiction find NO-ONE LOVES A POLICEMAN profoundly boring, profoundly confusing, profoundly pointless or some combination thereof. It was all of that for this reader as well, although I stuck with it mostly because of a very strong sense of a culture, and because I just had this sneaking feeling that Martelli was as confused as I was. And I did kind of like him as a character, and every now and then I don't mind having no idea what's happening fictionally. Sort of seems to match life really. But this is really is an odd book, and I'm not sure I would recommend it to everyone, but if you're looking for something different, then NO-ONE LOVES A POLICEMAN definitely meets that criteria.