Lust drives a journalist to discover his lover’s role in a murder.
When Serrano encounters a former rival for the affection of Liliana Montoya, it awakens his lingering curiosity and desire for her. A textbook femme fatale, Liliana was voracious, beautiful, and accustomed to the material benefits that a sugar daddy can provide. Still, Liliana had a soft spot for Serrano. With 1980s Mexico City as the backdrop, a time and place where corruption and graft were common, Serrano recounts his sex and alcohol-fueled liaisons with Liliana. He also remembers her story about a murder she claims to have ordered. Her story and its variations unnerved Serrano and made him decide to distance himself. He wanted to be a serious writer, after all. What kind of wife would she have been? But this is only the story he tells himself as he decides to investigate the murder she ordered in an effort to find her. “Reading what I write isn't enough, you must also doubt,” Serrano warns early in the novel. He must follow his own advice, as his interactions with sketchy characters are the only way for him to find the truth he seeks. It’s good advice for the reader, too, as in the course of this slim novel the truth becomes malleable and reality turns questionable.
This is accomplished Mexican writer Camín’s second novel to be translated into English (Death in Veracruz, 2015). His keen journalism skills are evident but the story lacks nuance, relying instead on reportage and archetypes.