19 November 2012

Review: ALL YOURS, Claudia Pineiro

  • Format: Kindle (Amazon)
  • File Size: 218 KB
  • Print Length: 178 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 190473880X
  • Publisher: Bitter Lemon Press; Tra Org edition (December 18, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc
  • Translated by Miranda France.
  • Language: English
  • Source: I bought it
Synopsis (Amazon)

Ines is convinced that every wife is bound to be betrayed one day, so she is not surprised to find a note in her husband Ernesto’s briefcase with a heart smeared in lipstick crossed by the words “All Yours” and signed, “Your true love.”

She follows him to a park on a rainy winter evening and witnesses a violent quarrel he has with another woman. The woman collapses; Ernesto sinks her body in a nearby lake. When Ernesto becomes a suspect in the case she provides him with an alibi. After all, hatred can bring people together as urgently as love. But Ernesto cannot bring his sexual adventures to an end, so Ines concocts a plan for revenge from which there is no return.

Claudia PiƱeiro, formerly a journalist and playwright, is the author of literary crime novels that are all bestsellers in Latin America and have been translated into six languages. All Yours follows on the success of Thursday Night Widows, published in 2010 in the United States.

My Take

Set in Buenos Aires, this novel has an interesting structure: mostly the voice that we hear is Ines herself; but often there are phone conversations between Lali and her friend Paula which is how we know that Lali is in trouble; sometimes we are provided with material photocopied from a Spanish book on forensic practice found in Ines' bedside table. Most incidents are provided without author intervention or description.

Ines has nothing much to do all day except her housework so she keeps her house spic and span. It also means that she hasn't got much else to focus on apart from herself and Ernesto, providing of course you discount their daughter Lali, who is 17, finishing school, and in all sorts of trouble, but neither of her parents are aware of that.

Ines thinks she has now got Ernesto where she wants him, but then she discovers he is still leading a double life, and from that point on she can only see one way out.

Although I've read ALL YOURS for the South American category of the 2012 Global Reading Challenge it doesn't seem to me that I've learnt much about life in Buenos Aires. Having read this and THURSDAY NIGHT WIDOWS I can now see why Claudia Pineiro is such a popular Argentinian crime fiction writer. Her novels are unusual to say the least.

My rating: 4.5

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