Wednesday, 31 August 2011

All Yours - review

All Yours, written by Claudia Pineiro and translated by Miranda France, is a new title from those enterprising publishers Bitter Lemon Press. First published in Spanish eight years ago, it is a short and snappy story about infidelity, obsession and murder.

In telling her tale, Claudia Pineiro makes clever use of shifting viewpoints. Most of the story is described from the point of view of Ines, the long-suffering wife of an errant businessman called Ernesto. But there are also segments dealing – mainly through dialogue – with the misadventures of their teenage daughter, and sections seen from an alternative perspective. The combination is effective, and the pace brisk.

Ines discovers that Ernesto has been having an affair. When she spies on him, she witnesses the accidental death of his secretary, who has been haranguing him. Stunned, and Ernesto dumps the body in a lake. His wife's reaction is to help him cover up his crime. But she does not fully understand what has been going on.

There are a number of pleasing plot developments as the story progresses. I enjoyed it, and look forward to reading more by this author. Oddly enough, I read this book in between re-reading a couple of novels by Anthony Berkeley, and I was struck by one or two similarities of approach between the author of those classic detective novels of the Golden Age and the cool and cynical approach of Claudia Pineiro to her characters. Of course, there are many differences between the two writers, but both of them strive for originality in constructing their entertaining mysteries.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Martin - Many thanks for the thoughtful review. I admit I'm still not 100% sure I'll read this one; your review and some others I've read are positive. I've read others less so. I am glad that you enjoyed it :-).