A political thriller of the highest order, The Shape of the Ruins by Juan Gabriel Vásquez (Riverhead $27), is a rare combination of literary, mystery, historical, and political whodunit. Already highly acclaimed, Vásquez considers this book to be the masterpiece he’s been attempting to write for years. Loosely centered on the brutal murder in the Bogotá streets of the Colombian Liberal General Rafael Uribe Uribe in 1914, this is a meta-novel about the author working with a conspiracy theorist investigating the killing, and the alleged massive government and church cover-up that pinned the murder on two unskilled workers. A circular, twisting novel that jumps around in time and perspective, and echoes other, later murders of the politicians Gaitan and Kennedy, this is a sweeping blend of fact, fiction, history, and speculation that explores the way dark moments in a country’s past eerily shape its present.
The Shape of the Ruins by Juan Gabriel Vásquez