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A Crack in the Wall
 
 

A Crack in the Wall [Kindle Edition]

Claudia Piñeiro , Miranda France
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Review

Praise for previous novels by Claudia Pineiro:
'Thursday Night Widows is a gripping story. The dystopia portrayed is an indictment not solely of an assassin but of Argentina's class structure and the willful blindness of its petty bourgeoisie.' - Times Literary Supplement

'If you read only one crime book in translation this year, make All Yours the one, a book that grabs you from the start and whips along at pace. It screams out to become a film.' -- Crime Time

'This is a dark, psychologically tense tale of a man s awakening to the things that really matter in life. Not a traditional crime novel, perhaps, but a rewarding read nevertheless.' -- Crime Fiction Lover

Product Description

Pablo Borla's marriage is reduced to confrontations with his wife over their daughter's rebellious ways and his firm builds only repellent office blocks destroying the fabric of old Buenos Aires. It all changes with the arrival of a young woman who brings to light a murder committed decades ago by those in his office. A murder everyone assumed was forgotten.

Claudia Piñeiro, after working as a professional accountant, became a journalist, playwright and television scriptwriter and in 1992 won the prestigious Pléyade journalism award. She has more recently turned to fiction; All Yours (finalist for the 2003 Planeta Prize) and Thursday Night Widows.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 325 KB
  • Print Length: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Bitter Lemon Press (15 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00B6UB6JW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #450,653 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAME TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
In this deliciously wicked new novel, her best one yet, Argentinian author Claudia Pineiro, focuses once again on the evil that lurks within the hearts of men, even those who seem innocent or numbed by their own circumstances. Honestly does not seem to enter the equation here, as Pineiro once again mines a theme which also appears in her two previous novels in translation. As dark (even cynical) as the theme seems to be, the author works it with a light hand, employing surprisingly little violence (which usually takes place "offstage") and creating characters who often bumble their way through the complex mazes of their lives and into situations over which they believe they have little control. Life in Buenos Aires may appear dark here, but Pineiro's characters take their circumstances for granted and do what they believe they must do to succeed. In the process, they become understandable - and all too human in their weaknesses.

Pablo Simo, the forty-five-year-old architect and main character, has been married to Laura for eleven thousand seventy days. Though he does not believe he is in love with her any longer, neither has he strayed much farther than the realms of imagination. Though the firm where he works has been extremely successful and Pablo Simo has been there for almost twenty years, he is not a partner, for reasons that he never even bothers to question. He spends his spare time at his desk making hundreds of designs for an imagined eleven-story apartment tower which he hopes that one day he will be able to build on his own.

When attractive, 28-year-old Leonor comes to the office looking for Nelson Jara, someone with whom she says she has business, the firm's two partners pretend that they have no idea who Jara is, and Pablo just keeps his mouth shut.
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1.0 out of 5 stars fell between 2 stools 3 Nov 2013
By Kenrigg
Format:Kindle Edition
I didn't manage a willing suspension of disbelief over the whole of this short novel. I might have done in a short story. I just did not think the characters and the events credible. It's not really a novel, nor a mystery, nor a psychological thriller.

The daughter and Leonor were potentially interesting and believable but they had small roles to play.

The Quote one eight (sic)-of-an-inch- Caran D'Ache" and its use as a motif didn't work.

The scenes of dismal marital carnal relations added nothing and came over to me as misandrist.

I am sure the author can write a good novel but not in this genre. Perhaps she could follow up from Leonor and the daughter and explore their lives and what happened to them as BA changes up to the present day.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Argentinian thriller that's "a cracker" 13 Jun 2013
By Ripple TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Pablo Simó is an architect on the verge of a mid life crisis. His work, marriage and general life is governed more by habit and routine than anything, leaving him to ponder over the attractions of his colleague Marta with whom he suspects his boss may be having a relationship. When a young girl enters the office asking if anyone knows a man called Nelson Jara, the three architects deny all knowledge, but they do know him. He was involved in a claim that one of the practice's projects caused a crack in the wall of his apartment and how this was resolved is something all three of them would rather forget.

Argentinian crime writer, Claudia Piňeiro's 2009 novel is translated by Miranda France. The translation feels quite direct in that it never feels like you are reading anything other than a book in translation which does lead to something of a sense of "otherness" about the book. But that small gripe aside, this is a thoughtful and thriller style book about greed, guilt, ambition and breaking free of the rat race.

The crime at the centre of the story and the perpetrators of that crime are revealed fairly early on, but exactly what happened and how it came to pass are gradually teased out as Pablo befriends the young girl, Leonor, and Piňeiro keeps some nicely plotted surprises up her sleeve until the very end.

She has a genuine feel for the architecture element of her protagonists and there are constant references to various buildings in Buenos Aires that make you want to look up pictures of them, while at the same time documenting the gradual erosion of this architectural heritage by soulless office developments.

Pablo's life of routine is nicely evoked.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Everybody's played the system...and if they haven't done it, they're going to one day...nobody wants to be the chump." 25 July 2013
By Mary Whipple - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
In this deliciously wicked new novel, her best one yet, Argentinian author Claudia Pineiro, focuses once again on the evil that lurks within the hearts of men, even those who seem innocent or numbed by their own circumstances. Honestly does not seem to enter the equation here, as Pineiro once again mines a theme which also appears in her two previous novels in translation. As dark (even cynical) as the theme seems to be, the author works it with a light hand, employing surprisingly little violence (which usually takes place "offstage") and creating characters who often bumble their way through the complex mazes of their lives and into situations over which they believe they have little control. Life in Buenos Aires may appear dark here, but Pineiro's characters take their circumstances for granted and do what they believe they must do to succeed. In the process, they become understandable - and all too human in their weaknesses.

Pablo Simo, the forty-five-year-old architect and main character, has been married to Laura for eleven thousand seventy days. Though he does not believe he is in love with her any longer, neither has he strayed much farther than the realms of imagination. Though the architectural firm where he works has been extremely successful and Pablo Simo has been there for almost twenty years, he is not a partner, for reasons that he never even bothers to question. He spends his spare time at his desk making hundreds of designs for an imagined eleven-story apartment tower which he hopes that one day he will be able to build on his own.

When attractive, 28-year-old Leonor comes to the office looking for Nelson Jara, someone with whom she says she has business, the firm's two partners pretend that they have no idea who Jara is, and Pablo just keeps his mouth shut. By page twelve, however, the reader learns that Nelson Jara is dead - "buried a few feet beneath the concrete floor...exactly where they [all] left him that night, three years ago." Jara had approached the firm when a huge crack developed in the wall of his apartment, located beside the firm's biggest building project. He has threatened to report the architects for not working to code, though he is willing to come to some "accommodation" with them for a fee. Pablo is assigned to put Jara off for a week, but when it ends, so does Jara.

Author Pineiro provides one surprise after another in the aftermath of the murder, many of them the result of coincidences which, while unlikely, make the story much more fun to read and imagine. Irony piles on top of irony as Pablo's predictable life becomes more and more crazy. In addition to his residual guilt about his role in the murder, he is dealing with a teenage daughter who is out of control, a wife who may have a lover, and a strong desire to find out what love really is. The action is fast and furious, Pablo is suitably dense as a protagonist, and few readers will predict the grand outcomes of this clever and very amusing novel. Beautifully paced, despite an architectural side trip to photograph Buenos Aires's most interesting buildings, this exciting novel goes on to show that the biggest crack of all ultimately appears in the "wall" of Pablo's own stultifying life.
3.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully decent 11 Feb 2014
By Gordon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This story kept building in plots and character details throughout. It was not a real page-turner, but it was certainly interesting with some mild suspense arriving toward the finale. It was a solid 3.5 stars and I may even decide to try the author again.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful mystery by a South American author. 13 Nov 2013
By Morris L. Greb - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Pineiro's style is wonderful. He exposes layers upon layers of mystery till the most surprising conclusion A very good read.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fabulous Argentinian thriller 26 July 2013
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A Crack in the Wall
Claudia Piñeiro, translated by Miranda France
Bitter Lemon, Aug 1 2013, $14.95
ISBN 9781908524089

In 2007 in Buenos Aires, twenty-something Leonor Corell visits the office of Borla and Associates, an architectural firm. She asks Borla, fortyish Pablo Simó and Marta Horvat if any of them know where Nelson Jara is. Though they rehearsed their response if the question came up and Borla says no, Pablo fails immediately to respond as his world shifted with that inquiry. However, he recovers as he and Marta deny knowing a Jara.

Three years earlier, Simó, Borla and Horvat buried Jara under the concrete of the parking lot. At a café, Corell sees Simó and asks him to help her with a photography assignment. Though he should say no, he agrees to assist her while wondering if his motive is guilt or a need for dangerous freshness with his marriage falling apart, his daughter in rebellion, and his work boring while his dream of designing a special tower is dead.

The latest Claudia Piñeiro Argentinian thriller (see Thursday night Widows and All Yours) is a fabulous tale that rotates between the Jara burial and the relationship between Pablo and Leonor. Gripping from the moment the young woman asks her question, readers will relish this taut twisting psychological suspense as Simó faces A Crack in the Wall as big as an iceberg.

Harriet Klausner
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