By: Juan Gabriel Vasquez
When Gabriel Santoro publishes his first book, a biography of a Jewish family friend who fled Germany for Colombia shortly before World War Two, it never occurs to him that his father will write a devastating review in a national newspaper. Why does he attack him so viciously? Do the pages of his book unwittingly hide some dangerous secret? As Gabriel sets out to discover what lies behind his father's anger, he finds himself undertaking an examination of the guilt and complicity at the heart of Colombian society, as one treacherous act perpetrated in those dark days returns with a vengeance half a century later.