Chilean author Fernández’s second novel to be translated into English (after Space Invaders) powerfully evokes the brutality of Augusto Pinochet’s 17-year military dictatorship and is based on the life of one of his security policemen. The unnamed 40-something narrator grew up during Pinochet’s reign, and as an adult her documentary and script writing work have led her to repeatedly encounter intelligence agent Andrés Antonio Valenzuela Morales, who in 1984 made a bombshell confession that he systematically tortured and murdered political dissidents. Now, 30 years after Morales’s flight from Chile, he’s returned to give testimony for the court, and the narrator becomes obsessed with him.

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