Urgent Matters

Paula Rodríguez

Pushkin Press, 2022

“The train at the start of Argentinian journalist and activist Paula Rodríguez’s debut novel never arrives at its destination, instead crashing in the suburbs of Buenos Aires and killing 43 people in the process. Hugo Lamadrid, a wanted criminal, takes the opportunity to climb out of the wreckage and disappear. Detective Osvaldo Domínguez is left floundering in his wake as the media releases misinformation and rumours and Hugo’s nearest and dearest – including his partner’s pious sister, who works at a casino and has a side hustle in sex-toys, and her mafiosa mother – throw spanners in the works. Domínguez himself is implicated in the resulting unholy mix of Catholicism, confusion and corruption: a vivid and unforgiving depiction of a world in which everyone, even Hugo’s young daughter Evelyn, is guilty of something.” — Laura Wilson, The Guardian