Although this book isn't about music, nor is music a major theme, it is written so lyrically that, while reading, and even now, when considering it, I feel as though I had just been listening to some sultry, Latin American version of smooth, dark, soft Jazz. I can't figure out if this book is a translation from the Spanish, or was written in English, but either way, the prose is lovely, because while the English is excellent, it retains the flavor of Spanish. This shows itself not just in character and place names, but in the cadence of the sentences, in the flow of the prose, and though the subject matter is far from poetic, in the essential lyricism of the language. Translation or not (and if it is a translation, then it is an exemplar of the art of translation), I found the writing absolutely captivating.
Although I found the characters interesting, I couldn't really identify with them strongly, as I tend to do with other characters in other books. I don't think this detracted from the story, though. The main characters weren't just pieces moved around a story board, and, within the context of the book, they seemed to belong and be perfectly at home.
the mystery was good, although this author does not tell a straightforward story. In fact, like the most challenging jazz, the story wanders around it points ...taking side roads, pausing to give some small thing loving attention, and suggesting other possibilities for investigation. The themes are never lost, though, and the 3 cases under investigation intertwine, separate, and come back together again until the resolution. They aren't interdependent, except in the detective's mind ...and, therefore, to some degree, in the reader's as well.
I was delighted with the late night radio show ...which reminded me strongly of the underground stations to which I used to listen back in the early 70s. We saw Mexico City through its eyes, and experienced her night voices through the show host, which added interesting grace notes to an already complex piece. In fact, Mexico, and especially its Capital, were as much characters in this story as were the people about whom it was concerned.
This isn't one of those fast paced action novels, but if you need something a little different, or if you like books that involve you on all levels, I think that you will, as I did, enjoy this excellent, possibly brilliant, book.