crossesandguns: cain with a syringe full of poison (Default)
Book: Smaller and Smaller Circles
Author: FH Batacan
Published: 2002 University of the Philippines Press

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usWhere else in the world would a detective story with priests as main characters work, aside from, perhaps, the Vatican? The Philippines, with its 80% Catholic population, is as good a guess as any. Father Gus Saenz is a Jesuit priest and a highly-regarded forensic anthropologist, two occupations that would seem incongruent but somehow work smoothly. Working with him is his former student, Father Jerome Lucero, who is also a noted clinical psychologist. When a child is found on a dumpsite, eviscerated and decaying, the two are called in to investigate an apparent series of gruesome murders and to catch a rarity in Filipino crime – a serial killer.

If you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss with gaze back at you. (Nietzsche) )

I enjoyed the book very much, and it begs a sequel. But it was written a decade or so ago, and there doesn’t seem to be any plan for one. FH Batacan is one of the contributors in the crime anthology Manila Noir, and I’m guessing (and hoping) she’ll bring back the two priests for another crime-solving mystery.

Some other notes on the book )

crossesandguns: cain with a syringe full of poison (Default)
Starting this book later!

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I'm really excited about this because it's a detective story! Set in the Philippines! With a Jesuit priest as the 'detective'! I wish there were more Filipino crime/noir novels, but as it is, they're incredibly rare. The only other book I can think of is Manila Noir, an anthology edited by Jessica Hagedorn, with stories by Lourd de Veyra, Gina Apostol, Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo, FH Batacan and Jose Dalisay Jr. among others. It's still coming soon from what I see.

Maybe it's up to the younger generations to fill this gap? It's a challenge to all my writer friends!

May 2014

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