The Mongolian Conspiracy, by Rafael Bernal, brings slick Noir tropes to 1960’s Mexico City. Ostensibly a political thriller, the action follows Filiberto Garcia, an aging veteran of the Mexican Revolution and killer-for-hire contracted by the police to investigate an assassination plot. These rumors, apparently originating from Mongolia, send Garcia on the prowl through the city’s gritty Chinatown, and as the plot unravels: farther and farther a field. The scenes trend pulpy: Garcia seduces a possible femme fatale, he shoots up an opium den, and he brings the investigation to a very Sam Spade finish. The novel has the sheen of 60’s political thrillers (The Day of the Jackal, Z, Topaz), especially as Garcia meets operatives from the CIA and KGB. But these encounters, madcap and witty, capture the tone that makes The Mongolian Conspiracy more compelling than any ordinary political thriller.
May 6th, 2014 / 12:00 pm