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The Secret in Their Eyes Paperback – Bargain Price, October 18, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Beguiling… [A] complex and engaging narrative.” —Publishers Weekly 

“A brutal murder is the starting point for this strange, compelling journey through Argentina’s criminal-justice system… A view of the world as a dark place illuminated by personal loyalties.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Intriguing and often riveting…This book is primarily a murder mystery, but the focus on 1970s Argentina and the internal angst of the protagonist add layers of complexity. Highly recommended for readers with an interest in suspense, history, and the human psyche.” —Library Journal

“In straightforward prose, Sacheri builds a startling psychological mystery—about the secrets of a country corroded by state terror, and the secrets of a heart so suffocated that it cannot utter its simple, pure desire.” —Michael Greenberg, author of Beg, Borrow, Steal and Hurry Down Sunshine

About the Author

Eduardo Sacheri was born in Buenos Aires in 1967. His first collection of short stories, Esperándolo a Tito y otros cuentos de fútbol (Waiting for Tito and Other Soccer Stories) was published in Spain in 2000 under the title Traidores y otros cuentos (Traitors and Other Stories). Three other collections were published between 2001 and 2007, all of which have been best sellers in Argentina. His novel La pregunta de sus ojos has been sold into eight territories, and the film adaptation, The Secret inTheir Eyes, won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 2010.
 
John Cullen is the translator of many books from Spanish, French, German, and Italian, including Margaret Mazzantini’s Don’t Move, Yasmina Khadra’s Middle East Trilogy (The Swallows of Kabul, The Attack, The Sirens of Baghdad), Christa Wolf’s Medea, and Manuel de Lope’s The Wrong Blood (Other Press). He lives in upstate New York.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Other Press (October 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AK3VB3C
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,357,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Lonya VINE VOICE on September 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Usually, before seeing a movie based on a book that I've enjoyed I wonder how the movie could possibly be as good as the book. Here, I had the opposite concern. I had seen the movie The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos) and it was tremendous. It received the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2010, an honor that was well-deserved. So, when I picked up the book upon which the screenplay was based I did wonder whether the book would capture my imagination the way the movie did. My concern was fleeting. By the time I read the first few pages I knew that I was about to be entertained and moved by the book.

Set in Argentina, The Secret in Their Eyes tells the story of Benjamin Chaparro. The book opens in 1999 with Chaparro's retirement from his position as a Clerk in the examining magistrate's office in Buenos. Chaparro decides to write a novel based upon a tragic, brutal murder that came across his desk earlier in his career. The murder and its aftermath took place during a turbulent time in Argentina's history, a time that culminated in the "Dirty War", a time of great internal state-supported violence, from 1976 to 1983. The book tells two stories: the story of the murder and its aftermath and the hopelessly unrequited relationship between Chaparro and Irene, a Judge sitting on the bench in Chaparro's court. Argentina's time of troubles provides the political backdrop against which these events play out. I claim no particular knowledge of Argentinean political history and I imagine that there are references in the book that may have been lost on me that others may have spotted.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Patto TOP 500 REVIEWER on September 5, 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
By page two, I knew I was in the hands of a terrific prose stylist. Soon the strangled corpse of a beautiful young woman told me I was in for a murder mystery. Then I discovered in the subtext a tale of hopeless love. But politics play a role too, for part of the drama arises in the bloody 1970s of Argentina.

So how can we possibly categorize this novel? Real literature - and addictive reading, full of surprises right up to the very last page.

The structure is clever. Benjamin Chaparro, deputy clerk just retired from the Buenos Aires Examining Magistrate's Court, decides to write a novel about a case he worked on. His novel begins with the murder of the wife of a bank clerk. The lazy judge wants to shelve the case quickly for lack of leads, but Chaparro resists. No end of trouble results, unimaginable trouble spanning decades and feeding the reader one amazing development after another.

I loved the characters in this book: the oddly heroic Chaparro, his spectacularly alcoholic co-worker, the poignant victim, her obsessively grieving husband, the bad cops, the good cop, the inscrutable woman Chaparro secretly adores.

Despite the bizarre narrative, it's hard to believe this is fiction. Eduardo Sacheri once worked in a sentencing court in Buenos Aires, and his former colleagues helped him besides with a multitude of juridical details. So everything about Chaparro's world feels real, right down to the hand-sewn bindings of the case files.

I can wholeheartedly recommend this novel to thrill seekers and literary readers alike. Sacheri is a major international talent.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TChris TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
I wouldn't call The Secret in Their Eyes a thriller (although it develops some thrills toward the end), or even a mystery. The novel tells a very personal story of one man's role in the Argentinean system of criminal justice, his mild obsession with an unsolved murder, and the difficulty of pursuing the truth in a corrupt political regime.

Facing a lonely, dreaded retirement from his life as a deputy court clerk, Benjamín Chaparro decides to fill his time writing the story of Ricardo Morales. When they first meet (in the 1960s), Chaparro is overseeing the investigation of Morales' pregnant wife's murder. The two men form a bond. Morales is, like Chaparro, a morose man who prefers rainy days to sunshine, who looks at photographs and feels a sense of loss for the "vanished paradise" they depict. Yet Chaparro envies Morales because Morales has experienced true love, while Morales drifts through relationships, marrying and divorcing, never content.

Chaparro harbors a secret love for a former co-worker named Irene, a judge who, thanks to his retirement, is no longer part of his daily life. Writing of unrequited love is, I think, a South American specialty, and Eduardo Sacheri does it masterfully. I could feel Chaparro's fears and regrets, his heartache -- "the ache of stifled feelings" -- in my bones. As Chaparro compares his life to Morales', the contrast is between a love kept hidden and a love lost: each tragic in its own way. Neither man knows how to live the rest of his life: Morales without the wife he loved, Chaparro without the joy of seeing Irene every day.

The murder investigation, such as it is, drags on for years, spurred forward by Chaparro's intuition and later by a fortuitous confrontation between a railroad conductor and the murder suspect.
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