The Black Minutes

By Martin Solares; Aura Estrada (Translator); John Pluecker (Translator)
(Grove Press, Black Cat, Paperback, 9780802170682, 436pp.)

Publication Date: May 2010

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When a young journalist named Bernardo Blanco is killed in the fictional Mexican port city of Paracuán, investigation into his murder reveals missing links in a disturbing multiple homicide case from twenty years earlier. As police officer Ramón el Macetón” Cabrera discovers, Blanco had been writing a book about a 1970s case dealing with the murder of several young schoolgirls in Paracuán by a man known as el Chacal. Cabrera realizes that whoever killed Blanco wanted to keep the truth about el Chacal from being revealed, and he becomes determined to discover that truth. The Black Minutes chronicles both Cabrera’s investigation into Blanco’s murder and goes back in time to follow detective Vicente Rangel’s investigation of the original el Chacal case. Both narratives expose worlds of corruption, from cops who are content to close the door on a case without true justice to powerful politicians who can pay their way out of their families’ crimes. Full of dark twists and turns, and populated by a cast of captivatingand mostly corruptcharacters, The Black Minutes is an electrifying novel from a brilliant new voice.

About the Author

John Pluecker received his undergraduate degree in Ethnic Studies and Gender Studies from Yale University and his master's degree in Spanish from the University of Houston. His fiction and poetry have appeared in journals such as The Julie Mango, Picnic Altanoche, and El Diario de Tampico. He is the translator of Do You Know the Cucuy?/Conoces al cucuy? (Pinata Books, 2008) and Brujas, lechuzas y espantos/Witches, Owls and Spooks (Pinata Books, 2008), a short-story collection for intermediate readers.
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