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MVL: Who Killed Palomino Molero?

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1kidzdoc
Jan 7, 2011, 10:52pm Top

Palomino Molero is a young airman in the Peruvian Air Force who is found brutally murdered near his base by a goatherd. The local Guardia Civil is notified, and Lieutenant Silva and Officer Lituma undertake an investigation. The pair soon find out that Palomino left the base several days before his murder, and suspect that his killers will be found there. The commanding officer, Colonel Mindreau, a haughty white officer, condescendingly tells the pair (who are cholos, like the murdered airman) that he has investigated the case and concluded that no one on the base knows anything about the crime. The lieutenant is far from convinced, however, particularly when the colonel becomes enraged and flustered after he is questioned further. The officers are hampered by their inability to interview anyone on the base by the colonel, until an anonymous tip points them in the right direction.

Who Killed Palomino Molero? is a mystery set in mid-20th century Peru, which lightly touches on class and racial differences, corruption, and power. It does not have the complexity or power of Vargas Llosa's better known novels, such as The Time of the Hero or The Conversation in the Cathedral, but it was still an enjoyable read.

2rebeccanyc
Jan 20, 2011, 9:20am Top

I read Who Killed Palomino Molero? towards the end of last year, and this is what I said in my review -- basically, I agree with you, Darryl.

Fairly lightweight (in length, style, and complexity) for a Vargas Llosa novel, this book reintroduces the character of Lituma, who first appeared in The Green House and later appears in Death in the Andes. Here, he is the sidekick to a police (Guardia Civil) lieutenant as the two of them investigate the brutal murder of a young air force recruit. As they, but mostly the lieutenant in his own inimitable way, interview potential witnesses, Vargas Llosa portrays a cross-section of Peruvian society in a remote coastal area in the 1950s, illustrating the class and racial tensions that pervade it. And, it wouldn't be a Vargas Llosa novel without a sex angle, this time the lieutenant's obsession with a married woman. I found this novel enjoyable, if surprisingly straightforward for Vargas Llosa, but certainly not up to his best.

3srl629
Jan 20, 2011, 10:39am Top

Hola a todos, estoy empezando a leer El sueno del celta que me regalaron por mi cumpleanyos. Espero que me guste!

4rebeccanyc
Jan 20, 2011, 11:27am Top

It seems that won't be published in English until 2012, so you may be one of the first to comment on it here on LT.

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