Graham Greene, Elmer Mendoza and Daniel Silva: Three Very Fit Crime Classics

The covers of the Spanish editions of She Walk In Through the Bathroom Window, La Violoncellista and Brighton Rock.

Today we bring a selection of the most diverse. The trio of Graham Greene, Elmer Mendoza and Daniel Silva has only one thing that is popular: all three are very good at what they do. The first died in 1991, but in recent weeks good evidence has emerged from all that their universe is not exhausted, whether it is the most intellectual occult criminal (Greene), the Narcomisteries (Elmer Mendoza) or of the most spectacular Spies (Daniel Silva) everyone deserves to be eaten. We will see why.

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Cellist Daniel Silva (Harper Collins, translation of Conquista Horrillo). In this blog we do not highlight the American author, one of the best exponents of spectacular spy novels full of conspiracies, impossible characters and international settings. Silva adds an extra ingredient to his plots: he is very good at reflecting the world we live in. This novel, published in the United States last year, relied on the poisoning of a Russian billionaire in London in the midst of a pandemic to bring back his hero Gabriel Allon to his best moments. It’s very difficult to keep up with him (Allon surrounds himself with other great agents, he’s Israeli, a great art restorer, a patriarch of the secret service, he seems immortal), but Silva always succeeds. A little creep goes through me at the thought of what he is doing now with the truth that oppresses us.

Came through the bathroom window, Elmer Mendoza (Manantial). Edgar returns, El Izquierdo, Mendieta and his crowd of fans rejoice. Here he is with his bad appetite, his instant coffee, his partner Plomizo Toledo and the terror of the drug dealer with whom he lives. He’s a complicated policeman who survives with the most complicated alliances to justify himself, but with a code. This time, he faces an ex-soldier involved in the drug trade who has just been released from prison and is crying out for revenge. At the same time, he engages in a venerable agony to reunite with the woman who fascinated him decades ago, a redhead who one fine day entered through the window of the toilets of all places. A way for Mendoza to find little beauty and music in the midst of so much horror. If it’s your first time reading it, don’t be afraid of the verb, full of street idioms, Sinaloan regionalisms and expressions unknown to a Castilian teacher. It starts fast, it sounds good and it is undoubtedly one of the great virtues of the author.

Brighton Rock, Graham Greene (Asteroid Books, translation by Early Michael). A word of warning: if you’re looking for a classic font, you’re in the wrong wardrobe. Well, if you want a story about the underworld, about the blushing desire to succeed in crime, a landscape of lost and wounded characters, here’s a good textbook. It was published in 1938 and is considered by many critics to be the Saxon author’s first great novel. The Brighton of the 1930s – this side of leisure and calm, but also of mafias, bets, slums and crime – is told very well, without distance, with a knife. Pinkie, a fresh 17-year-old who wants it all, is just one of the big characters in the novel. But I talk quietly to Ida, sad Ida, her loneliness and her desire for fairness. The battle is self-evident, fluid, the violence elegantly concealed.

All civilization to your measure appeases you here.

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