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Publisher Description

This harrowing mystery, winner of the Philippine National Book Award, follows two Catholic priests on the hunt through Manila for a brutal serial killer

Payatas, a 50-acre dump northeast of Manila’s Quezon City, is home to thousands of people who live off of what they can scavenge there. It is one of the poorest neighborhoods in a city whose law enforcement is already stretched thin, devoid of forensic resources and rife with corruption. So when the eviscerated bodies of preteen boys begin to appear in the dump heaps, there is no one to seek justice on their behalf.

In the rainy summer of 1997, two Jesuit priests take the matter of protecting their flock into their own hands. Father Gus Saenz is a respected forensic anthropologist, one of the few in the Philippines, and has been tapped by the Director of the National Bureau of Investigations as a backup for police efforts. Together with his protégé, Father Jerome Lucero, a psychologist, Saenz dedicates himself to tracking down the monster preying on these impoverished boys.

Smaller and Smaller Circles, widely regarded as the first Filipino crime novel, is a poetic masterpiece of literary noir, a sensitive depiction of a time and place, and a fascinating story about the Catholic Church and its place in its devotees’ lives.

Mysteries & Thrillers
August 18
Soho Press
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

Myob2 ,

Smaller and Smaller Circles

Sad, terrible, beautiful, honest, terrifying. A book reflecting human nature at its best and worst.

neon8s ,

Smaller and Smaller Circles

Not put-down-able!
Great story, great critique of society and the church, yet most hopeful. Please tell us more stories of these two caring, crime solving priests, great friends and hope for us all.