Spanish novelist Delibes (The Hedge, Five Hours with Mario--a monologue) here uses a series of psychiatric interviews to make a spare, dialogical novel. A tubercular Castilian peasant, Pacifico Perez, is interviewed by a prison psychiatrist, Dr. Lopez. Perez is in prison for killing (though in half-defense) the brother of his lover, the wild-and-crazy Candi, who had discovered them in flagrante one afternoon. Perez's life has been one of casual social violence and macho posture, all mixed up with Spanish rustic charm- -giving his little village a perfectly congruent side against which rested such general catastrophes as the Spanish Civil War. Explains Perez: ``Killing men was like killing wild boar: you have to do it when the time's right. 'Cause if you kill a boar in January, you get rewarded; but if you kill him in July, you're sorry, see. Well, the same for men. You kill 'em in wartime and you get a medal, but you kill 'em when there's peace and off you go for a while.'' A jail break will provide some secondhand drama here, but mostly this is a book focused on its own techniques and its Message (see above). Still, English-speaking readers of Delibes, and of contemporary Spanish writing, will want to keep abreast.