Happy Wednesday book people, I hope that you’ve been enjoying some great reads lately. I’m thrilled to be bringing you my review of The Foreign Girls by Sergio Olguin translated by Miranda France as part of the Random Tours blog tour organised by Anne Carter. Thanks to both Anne and the publisher Bitter Lemon Press for the tour spot and the gifted physical copy of this translated crime fiction novel. The Foreign Girls was published on the 18th of February. You can purchase a copy in either eBook or paperback format here.
‘Veronica Rosenthal has retreated to a cousin’s remote cottage in the province of Tucuman, to recuperate from the traumatic events in The Fragility of Bodies. She befriends two female tourists -an Italian and a Norwegian – invites them to stay and starts a sexual relationship with one of them. After a party they attend together, Veronica travels on alone but days later discovers that the women have been murdered. Suspicion falls on a local Umbanda priest, but Veronica starts to uncover a web of corruption, abuse and femicide in which government, wealthy landowners and a high-ranking official from the Argentina’s ‘Dirty War’ are all implicated. Veronica’s investigation, with its unforeseen political dimensions, has alarmed new enemies who will try to stop her at all cost’
The Foreign Girls is part of the Veronica Rosenthal series, we first met our protagonist in book one, The Fragility of Bodies but I feel in this crime instalment we begin to understand Veronica as an increasingly developing character, especially as she has a more personal entanglement with this case. Veronica is a flawed character but she thinks with her heart at times, which her job as a reporter allows in terms of personal intuition. I found her an individual who possessed a multiplex character, one’s that run deeper than we original thought and I really enjoyed her drive for justice.
The novel starts with a friendly back and forth of emails, with dreams of a fun getaway which quickly tailspin into something rather dark and shocking. The themes of the novel delve into the darker themes of Argentinian society that spans both political and societal, for example femicide, where the dark act of killing women and girls based on their sex and therefore societal status of being a secondary human to men. Along with corruption and the elite society, we are in for a political thriller that has teeth along with the undercurrent of a reality shock.
This well written and translated crime fiction embodies mystery, entwined with the strive for justice and a dashing of vengeance incorporated. The Foreign Girls is a fictional microscopic look at very real issues that are carefully plaited into a great crime read. This series instalment is best read after the first book, but this is only a recommendation and it can be enjoyed independently.