There's good stuff here for picturesque fiction, but it takes deep digging to unravel a slender plot from the encumbrances of a confused picture of Paraguay about a hundred years ago. Women held a rather special position -- there was no crime, nor theft, nor murder. Then came the Parisian-veneer Irish mistress of the dictator, Lopoz, and trouble began -- and lasted through his domination. A story spread thin over a large and crowded canvas. Not easy reading.