Title Page, Series Page, Copyright, Epigraphs

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one

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pp. 3-10

My father had to sell the El Mezquite ranch, because that’s where they killed one of the sons of his buddy Rincón, who had come that day to buy two spotted cows from him. It must have been about two in the afternoon on a dry day. Rincón...

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two

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pp. 11-20

Yesterday my brother Bulmaro came to speak with my brother Ismael, who is an agent in the State Prosecutor’s office in the fourth bureau, responsible for property crimes, although he also deals with threats and attempted homicides. My brother...

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three

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pp. 21-27

In Guadalajara I asked for a ride from a big, well-built man. The man’s name was Roberto Alanís, and he’s from Uña de Gato, a town near here. I met him at a taco stand near the bus station. The man was wearing ostrich leather boots, a mustache...

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four

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pp. 28-48

Cecilio junior came down from the north in a black pickup with tinted windows to spend Christmas and New Year’s at his parents’ house. He arrived with his wife and his two children, who were pochos, fat like suckling pigs, and they wore...

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five

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pp. 49-58

I couldn’t go to my brother Ismael’s wedding. He married a second cousin, and to justify the incestuous union they said she was a distant cousin because she was born in Baja California, some thousand kilometers from Colima. And if the...

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six

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pp. 59-70

The owner of the taco stand was a man who gave the impression of having gotten to where he was after a lot of hard work. You could see his fatigue in his rough hands. He was a tall man, with pale skin, and few words, who unloaded cases of...

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seven

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pp. 71-83

That night I’d had trouble getting to sleep. I was tossing and turning in the bed. Putting my head on and off of the pillow, changing position. On my side. On my back. On my other side. On my stomach. I was looking out the window obscured...

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eight

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pp. 84-98

After several days at the supermarket, Abel Corona became skilled at pork butchering, although the process, the way Chori told it, was different every time. You always have to use a little imagination in this, like salt with soup. Depending on...

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nine

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pp. 99-103

My sister is coming from Coalcomán to continue her studies, and we don’t fit in the room I’m renting now, I lied to the owner of the house. The old man looked hard into Silvia’s eyes. He seemed reluctant. The old man asked for two...

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ten

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pp. 104-112

When I opened the door to the house, the first thing I saw tossed in the middle of the hallway was an old, rusted bicycle without a seat. The house had two rooms, half a patio, and a bathroom. The roof was made of sheets of asbestos and the...

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eleven

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pp. 113-124

The morning of April 20th, Abel Corona would not show up for work. They would have been waiting for him to help with the daily chores, but he wouldn’t arrive. The route he chose this time must have been very different from other days. For...

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twelve

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pp. 125-137

A month after the death of my brother Ismael, the State Prosecutor appointed, as the new ministry agent of the fourth bureau, Gerardo Peñaloza Vizcaíno, Esq., a man with one leg bigger than the other, which made him limp when he walked...

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thirteen

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pp. 138-152

At the corner of the main garden in Villa Hidalgo, Abel met a man. The man was leaning on the trunk of a tree whose shade went all the way to the other side of the street. The trust was mutual between the man and Abel Corona, who, no sooner...

About the Author/About the Translator

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p. 153