W&N pre-empts debut literary crime novel set in the dark alleys of Buenos Aires

Eloísa DíazFederico Andornino, Commissioning Editor at Weidenfeld & Nicolson, has pre-empted World English language rights in Eloísa Díaz’s debut novel REPENTANCE, in a deal struck by Maria Cardona at Pontas Literary & Film Agency. French rights were pre-empted by Carla Briner at Le Masque.

Set in Argentina over a dual timeframe, REPENTANCE is literary crime at its best, combining a classic whodunnit with a fascinating look at a complicated country and its divisive history.

1981. Inspector Alzada’s work in the Buenos Aires police force exposes him to the many realities of life under a repressive military regime: desperate people, angry people – but, most of all, missing people. Despite his best efforts to stay out of politics, when his hot-headed revolutionary brother Jorge is disappeared by the military dictatorship, Alzada knows he will stop at nothing to rescue him.

2001. Argentina is spiraling out of control yet again and a popular uprising is brewing in Buenos Aires. This time Alzada is determined to keep his head down in anticipation of a peaceful retirement, but all his plans are derailed when a woman from one of the city’s wealthiest families goes missing – forcing him to confront the events of twenty years before and his own painful family history.

Federico Andornino, editor said: ‘It didn’t take me very long to fall for Eloísa’s novel, and when I did, I fell hard. REPENTANCE is so much more than literary crime: it’s a thoughtful and gripping exploration of recent Argentinian history and a deeply affecting story about the price we are prepared to pay to save the people we hold most dear. Eloísa’s writing is as sharp as the café cortado Inspector Alzada loves to drink in the book, and it has the wit and warmth of Camilleri’s Montalbano novels. Darkly funny and deeply moving, this is a true gem.’

Eloísa Díaz,author said: ‘I have always been fascinated by how people live in relative normalcy even during the darkest times – how they adapt, how they evolve, and, after the fact, how they interact with their pasts. Setting the novel in Argentina allowed me to explore, within the lifetime of a character, terror and its ripple effects. It also gave me the opportunity to connect with my parents’ country before they emigrated to Spain. The boundaries of the noir genre started out feeling like limitations but ended up being allies to frame the themes of violence as catalyst, collective responsibility, and individual redemption. I’m delighted to be working with Federico and the whole W&N team on this book.’

Eloísa Díaz was born in Madrid, Spain, in 1986. She studied Law at the Pantheon-Sorbonne University in Paris, France, and then completed her MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University. REPENTANCE is her debut novel.

REPENTANCE will be published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in 2020 in hardback, export trade paperback, ebook and audio with the mass market paperback to follow in 2021.