Published for the first time in English, an atmospheric, brilliant novel from an internationally bestselling literary luminary.
Roberto Ampuero’s novels starring the wonderfully roguish Cayetano Brulé are an international sensation. In The Neruda Case, readers are introduced to Cayetano as he takes on his first case as a private eye. Set against the fraught political world of pre-Pinochet Chile, Castro’s Cuba, and perilous behind-the-Wall East Berlin, this mystery spans countries, cultures, and political ideas, and features one of literature’s most beloved figures—Pablo Neruda.
Cayetano meets the poet at a party in Chile in the 1970s. The dying Neruda recruits Cayetano to help him solve the last great mystery of his life. As Cayetano fumbles around his first case, finding it hard to embrace the new inspector identity foisted upon him, he begins to learn more about Neruda’s hidden agenda. Neruda sends him on a whirlwind expedition around the world, ending back in Chile, where Pinochet’s coup plays out against the final revelations of their journey.
Evocative, romantic, and full of intrigue, Ampuero’s novel is both a glimpse into the life of Pablo Neruda as death approaches and a political thriller that unfolds during the fiercely convulsive end of an era.
Chilean author Ampuero's first novel published in English, a moving fictional interpretation of Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda's final days in 1973, appropriately enough sings with poetic metaphor. Neruda, who's ill with cancer as Chile teeters toward upheaval because of his friend President Allende's reform platform, seeks out unemployed Cuban Cayetano Brul in Valpara so and hires him to investigate the whereabouts of a former acquaintance, Dr. ngel Bracamonte. Never mind that Brul is no detective. The aging poet cum political activist persuades the young Brul to become his "own private Maigret," and travel to Mexico City, the last place Neruda saw Bracamonte. The mission seems cut and dried, except Neruda has not only withheld critical information, he has sworn Brul to secrecy. Nobody must know the identity of who Brul is looking for or why he is looking for him. The plot twists from Mexico City to East Germany, from lies to truth, from uneasy peace to political coup, from life to death. Read this one as much for the story as for the wonderful way Ampuero has with words.