Book review: There Are No Happy Loves by Sergio Olguin

There Are No Happy Loves by Sergio Olguín is a slow burn psychological thriller that repays the reader’s patience with an electrifying conclusion.

There Are No Happy Loves is the first book I’ve read by Argentinean author and journalist Sergio Olguín. It’s the latest example of the brilliant international thrillers I’ve received, courtesy of innovative publisher Bitter Lemon Press. It’s a slow burn, but using powerfully rendered characters and expressive prose, Olguín has crafted a richly textured, deeply suspenseful psychological thriller with a daring feminist lead that kept me turning the pages to the end.

There Are No Happy Loves

by Sergio Olguín

Series: Verónica Rosenthal #3

Translated by Miranda France

Published by Bitter Lemon Press

Source: Bitter Lemon Press

ISBN 978-1-913394-714

Genre(s) Psychological Thriller, International Crime

382 pages

The third in Olguin’s Buenos Aires thriller series starring the gutsy, raunchy investigative reporter Veronica Rosenthal.

Haunted by nightmares of her past, Veronica is soon involved in a new investigation. Dario, the sole survivor of a car accident that supposedly killed all his family, is convinced that his wife and child have in fact survived and that his wife has abducted their child. Then a truck searched in the port of Buenos Aires on suspicion that it is carrying drugs, is revealed to be transporting human body parts. These seemingly separate incidents prove to be tied in a shadowy web of complicity involving political and religious authorities. This is a dazzling thriller but also a story about the possibilities of love, in which jealousy, eroticism, humour and even elusive moments of happiness make an appearance.

Olguín introduces Darío Valrossa, an author of children’s books and sole survivor of a horrific car accident that supposedly killed and incinerated his entire family. But Darío is certain that his wife Cecilia and daughter Jazmín survived the crash. Because of their failing marriage, he believes Cecilia left the scene with Jazmín and went into hiding, keeping his daughter from him. When the police, bureaucrats, and lawyers refuse to listen to his story, Darío turns to Buenos Aires journalist Verónica Rosenthal for help, who he knows through a deceased cousin. Rosenthal is skeptical, but feels obligated to look into the matter because she feels she owes it to Darío’s deceased cousin Lucio, who she once had a relationship with. When Darío tells her he and his wife adopted Jazmín through an unusual arrangement, Verónica uses that as a starting point for her search to determine whether Cecilia and Jazmín are alive. Soon, she realizes the adoption process was not only unusual but probably illegal, which evolves into a larger mystery and, for Verónica, a bigger story. Unknown to Rosenthal, an investigation by her ex-boyfriend and a prosecuting attorney, Federico Córdova, into a truck that turned up full of human body parts links to the same shadowy web of powerful, corrupt political and religious authorities behind the illegal adoption ring that facilitated the adoption of Jazmín. Both Verónica and Federico must avoid running afoul of the formidable, shady police, judiciary, religious officials and some cold-blooded killers as they search for the truth independently until to their astonishment, they discover they are seeking the same answers that will expose the same crooked people. There Are No Happy Loves by Sergio Olguín is a slow burn psychological thriller that repays the reader’s patience with an electrifying conclusion.

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