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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.
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 through vast, empty pampas, along endless highways and into ghost towns seething with 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.
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