New Age of Treason
Detective meets urban magic realism.
A disappearance and a murder in Caracas, a kidnapping that leads to the Colombian jungle, and another disappearance leading to Havana: Venezuelan society portrayed through Jesus Tovar’s cases of two decades, recounted by Irama Ponce, as their paths keep crossing along the years. Latin American crime fiction at its best. More
In the vein of The Great Gatsby, Gone Girl, Chronicle of a Death Foretold (by Garcia Marquez), (Vasquez Montalban’s novel taking place in Argentina) and Alessandro Baricco’s Silk ‘New Age of Treason’ can be summarised as ‘detective meets urban magic realism’.
A disappearance and a murder in Caracas, a kidnapping ending up in Colombia and another disappearance that leads to Havanna: “New Age of Treason” a detective/crime novel is the story of JESUS TOVAR, a detective solving cases, mainly in Caracas (Venezuela) but also in Colombia and Havanna (Cuba), and his tribulations to achieve his goal in this very particular setting, while at the same time solving problems related to his teenage niece. The story is told by (IRAMA PONCE) in the second person. She recounts four cases to Jesus Tovar:
The first one in 1995 is the case of the disappearance of a banker’s wife, which is linked to the plummeting of Venezuelan economy. Jesus has to infiltrate the circles of the ‘nouveaux riches’, where he crosses Irama Ponce, to solve this case, while at the same time trying to keep his niece from entering a beauty contest.
The second one (2002), is the story of Irama Ponce’s avenging her niece’s murder, by murdering a drug dealer turned real-estate investor, on the night Jesus Tovar’s niece becomes a runner up at the Miss Venezuela contest.
The third case takes place in 2009, when Jesus Tovar rescues a cattle farmer, who has been kidnapped by the Colombian FARC guerrilla, while his niece, now a journalist, interviews the movement’s leader, recounted by Irama Ponce following the reports in the newspapers.
The last case is set in 2012 when Jesus Tovar is requested to search for Irama Ponce herself upon the request of the political party in power. She is assumed to have left for Havanna, Cuba. When searching for her in several clinics in Havanna, Jesus Tovar stumbles upon the dying Venezuelan President, which he fully realises only when the Cuban Seguridad Nacional kidnaps him. He escapes by jumping into the sea where he is rescued by a cigarette boat that is smuggling some dissidents to Miami. Upon arrival he is greeted by his niece, now turned a TV anchor in that city.
In short: the falling apart of Venezuelan society shown through Jesus Tovar’s cases of two decades recounted by Irama Ponce as their paths keep crossing along the years.
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