Repentance

Publication: 2021

Author: Eloísa Díaz

BUENOS AIRES, 1981.

Argentina is in the grip of a brutal military dictatorship. Inspector Joaquín Alzada's work in the Buenos Aires police force exposes him to the many realities of life under a repressive regime: desperate people, terrified people and – worst of all – missing people.

Personally, he prefers to stay out of politics, favouring a steady job and a simple life with his wife Paula over the path taken by his hot-headed revolutionary brother, Jorge.

But when Jorge is disappeared, Alzada will stop at nothing to rescue him.

TWENTY YEARS LATER…

In 2001, the country is in the midst of yet another devastating economic crisis and riots are building in the streets of Buenos Aires.

Alzada stopped believing in change a long time ago: this time he is determined to keep his head down and wait patiently for the day when he can finally retire.

But when a dead body lands in a dumpster behind the morgue and a woman from one of the city's wealthiest families goes missing, Alzada is suddenly forced to confront his own involvement in one of the darkest periods in Argentinian history – a time of collective horror and personal tragedy.

Alternating between two key moments in the life of a man and his country, Repentance is a noir with a difference, featuring an unforgettable character on a quest to solve a case that offers both a painful reminder of all he has lost and a last chance at redemption.

An unnerving debut novel for readers of Elizabeth Day, Petros Márkaris, and the most upmarket literary thrillers, as well as dark literary fiction.

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Covers

Original Language

ENGLISH (World) | Weidenfeld & Nicolson
ENGLISH (US) | Agora/Polis Books

Translation Rights

ESTONIAN | Eesti Raamat
FRENCH | Le Masque/JC Lattès
GERMAN | Hoffmann und Campe
ITALIAN | Piemme/Mondadori
RUSSIAN | Sindbad Publishers Limited
SPANISH | Seix Barral/Planeta

Reviews

"Repentance is a sharp, well written and evocative thriller about secrecy, complicity and how far people are willing to go for both the people they love and a cause they believe in." Life With All the Books 

"A hugely impressive debut and I would not be averse to revisiting this inspector again to find out more secrets of the past and what happened next. Highly recommended!" Run Along The Shelves

"It’s a strong, tension filled debut that wets the appetite for further books." Book Social

"Repentance is an apt title for this very impressive debut which works on multiple levels. It is an evocative crime thriller with a likeable, self-aware protagonist, but also skilfully explores the darkest period in Argentina’s modern history." Financial Times

"A powerful crime novel...with many layers...a strong depiction of a country and a period that still simmers between the pages of history books. Recommended."  Crime Time UK

"An accomplished, inventive detective novel thrumming with tension, family secrets, and the trauma of a violent military dictatorship. Seamlessly moving between the Dirty War and the economic crisis of 2001, Eloísa Díaz displays an acute understanding of Argentine history and politics. Repentance is both a riveting noir and a moving exploration of one man’s search to repair the past." Sanaë Lemoine, author of The Margot Affair

“This is an astonishingly assured first novel, written in English by a Spanish lawyer, that is both funny and moving.” The Times Crime Club

"Repentance is her debut novel, and it’s a beauty." CrimeFictionLover, 5*

"Admirers of Buenos Aires’ impeccable stylishness will be delighted, as will seekers of new brands of fictional police work" Strong Words Magazine

"This superbly written political conspiracy thriller shuns both sentimentality and cynicism." Morning Star