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Formulaic Thrills

Thomas Jones: A mathematical murder mystery

20 January 2005
The Oxford Murders 
by Guillermo Martínez, translated by Sonia Soto.
Abacus, 197 pp., £9.99, January 2005, 0 349 11721 7
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... with a chilling revelation or another death to get things back up to speed. The prose is straightforward but has some nice touches, which I assume are present in the Spanish original as well as in SoniaSoto’s translation. On entering Mrs Eagleton’s house, Seldom and the narrator can ‘hear, like a muffled heartbeat, the stealthy to and fro of a clock’s pendulum’. When the plane bringing ...
24 April 1997
Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me 
by Javier Marías, translated by Margaret Jull Costa.
Harvill, 313 pp., £8.99, October 1996, 1 86046 199 9
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The Club Dumas 
by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, translated by Sonia Soto.
Harcourt Brace, 368 pp., $23, February 1997, 0 15 100182 0
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... It’s easy to feel that life leaves too many traces or too few, scarcely ever the right amount: either fingerprints everywhere or total erasure. In such a mood your memory itself becomes a double agent, and you may be ready, like the hero of Orson Welles’s Mr Arkadin, to hire a private eye to explore your own past or, like the hero of Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s The Club Dumas, to welcome the devil ...

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