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When a young journalist named Bernardo Blanco is killed in the fictional Mexican port city of Paracun, investigation into his murder reveals missing links in a disturbing multiple homicide case from 20 years earlier.
Learn More about the Book
- The Black Minutes was a finalist for the Romulo Gallegos International Novel Prize
- Solares was a finalist for the Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere--France's most prestigious award for crime and detective fiction; recent winners include Deon Meyer and Ian Rankin
- Vintage 2 Espanol is publishing their edition of The Black Minutes simultaneously
1. "A breathless, marvelous first novel. . . This is Latin American fiction at its pulpy phantasmagorical finest. . . a literary masterpiece masquerading as a police procedural and nothing else I've read this year comes close." -- Junot Diaz
2. "Mr. Solares is a graceful, even poetic, writer, especially in his hard-boiled dialogue and his descriptions of the wildly varied landscapes and ethnic types of northern Mexico. Though the world of The Black Minutes is one to inspire fear and revulsion, Mr. Solares's descriptions of it are oddly beautiful and fascinating in the same way that overturning a rock and observing the maggots beneath can be a perversely edifying spectacle." --Larry Rohter, The New York Times
"Solares's debut deftly treads a risky tightrope between police procedural and surreal fantasy . . . this haunting novel forces readers to confront that bedeviling paradox of human nature, the eternal mystery of wickedness."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"From its first pages, it's clear that Martin Solares' debut crime novel is shooting for more than basic genre thrills. The writing is clean, almost edgeless, but the occasional elegant metaphor slips in. Most of the writing, however, steers clear of overt gestures, for a good reason: At 436 pages, this double-tiered mystery has more than enough incident to get through as is . . . The Black Minutes is briskly immersive and satisfyingly tangled, with a resonant sense of the weight of age-old injustices." --The Onion
"Martin Solares's first novel, The Black Minutes, an uncommonly nuanced neo-noir... may be exactly the right book to read at the end of 2010, a particularly dark year in recent Mexican history. It's crime fiction, but it's also a meditation on corruption, and it captures the kind of nightmarish helplessness that many feel in the face of the tide of narco-violence sweeping the north of Mexico... Scraping away some of the cool remove of the traditional noir, The Black Minutes gives a gorgeous, suffocating sense of life in Mexico's sweltering northeast and an equally smother sense of a justice system in which the concept of justice has been leached of meaning... The general impact of the plot is stunning. His char
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