• La dernière fois que Joaquín était venu le voir, Chacaltana l'avait trouvé un peu pâle. "Prends soin de toi. Tout ira bien", lui avait-il dit. Apparemment il avait tort. Félix Chacaltana Saldívar est assistant-archiviste au Palais de Justice de Lima. Il vit avec sa mère, une veuve austère, bigote et mal embouchée. Il aime l'ordre, le code pénal, le bouillon de poulet et sa fiancée Cecilia, qu'il aimerait bien embrasser (mais comment ?). Jusqu'au jour où il tombe sur un bout de papier griffonné qu'il ne sait pas où classer. Dans la foulée, Joaquín disparaît. C'est la Coupe du monde 1978, les matchs paralysent la ville, et notre parfait Candide se lance sans s'en rendre compte dans une enquête sordide sur fond d'opération Condor. Jamais à court de naïveté, il promène sa bonne foi inébranlable parmi les espions, les activistes, une blonde mystérieuse et un vétéran de la guerre d'Espagne, tous plus rompus que lui aux secrets du monde. Roncagliolo raconte les années de formation de l'anti-héros d'Avril rouge avec un incroyable talent. On passe sans crier gare de la parodie au pur roman noir, sans jamais perdre l'humour ni le plaisir. Finalement, la naïveté est peut-être aussi une forme de courage...

  • Winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2011 Red April evokes Holy Week during a cruel, bloody, and terrifying time in Peru's history, shocking for its corrosive mix of assassination, bribery, intrigue, torture, and enforced disappearance - a war between grim, ideologically driven terrorism and morally bankrupt government counterinsurgence.
    Mother-haunted, wife-abandoned, literature-loving, quietly eccentric Felix Chacaltana Saldivar is a hapless, by-the-book, unambitious prosecutor living in Lima. Until now he has lived a life in which nothing exceptionally good or bad has ever happened to him. But, inexplicably, he has been put in charge of a bizarre and horrible murder investigation. As it unfolds by propulsive twists and turns - full of paradoxes and surprises - Saldivar is compelled to confront what happens to a man and society when death becomes the only certainty.
    Remarkable for its self-assured and nimble clarity of style, Red April is at once riveting and profound.

  • Winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2011 Red April evokes Holy Week during a cruel, bloody, and terrifying time in Peru's history, shocking for its corrosive mix of assassination, bribery, intrigue, torture, and enforced disappearance - a war between grim, ideologically driven terrorism and morally bankrupt government counterinsurgence.
    Mother-haunted, wife-abandoned, literature-loving, quietly eccentric Felix Chacaltana Saldivar is a hapless, by-the-book, unambitious prosecutor living in Lima. Until now he has lived a life in which nothing exceptionally good or bad has ever happened to him. But, inexplicably, he has been put in charge of a bizarre and horrible murder investigation. As it unfolds by propulsive twists and turns - full of paradoxes and surprises - Saldivar is compelled to confront what happens to a man and society when death becomes the only certainty.
    Remarkable for its self-assured and nimble clarity of style, Red April is at once riveting and profound.

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