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★★★★★

“Excellent story with great characters”

Written on: 11/06/2017 by plappen (120 reviews written)

Dark Tangos, Lewis Shiner, 2011, ISBN 9781596063969

This is a thriller and love story set during a very dark time in recent world history.

Rob Cavanaugh's life has hit the skids. He is separated from Lauren, his wife, and Universal Software, his employer, has transferred him to their office in Buenos Aires, Argentina. There, he falls for Elena, and they dance a lot of the tango. In Argentina, the tango is more than "just" a dance; it is part of the national soul.

Rob also learns that Elena is part of Argentina's "dirty war." During the 1970's, a series of military governments arrested, tortured and killed thousands and thousands of political opponents, under the guise of fighting communism. America was a supporter of these military governments. This is the period that gave the world the noun "disappeared." Elena's mother was such an opponent. Mother and daughter were separated at birth, and Elena was given to another family to raise as their own.

Elena's real father, also a political opponent, is still alive, but he has to be very careful. The military governments may be gone, but the mindset of killing political opponents, and torturing anyone who gets in the way, is still very much alive. Robe finds that out first-hand when he is kidnapped, and brutally tortured for several days. He is rescued, and while in hospital, Lauren suddenly appears, and whisks him away to America for medical treatment. Is this the end of Rob and Elena? Does Rob return to Argentina?

This is an excellent story, where the reader will learn more than they ever wanted to know about the tango. It has great characters, and plenty of action, and it also explores the meaning of justice. It is very much worth reading.

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