The year is 1972. Tony Durán, a Puerto Rican-born adventurer and professional gambler from New Jersey, is found dead in his hotel room soon after arriving in a small town in Buenos Aires Province with a leather bag full of dollars. Dark-skinned, he spoke Spanish with a Caribbean accent. Rumors of his ménage à trois with Ada and Sofía Belladona, twin daughters of a prominent local landowner, have scandalized the town. Inspector Croce investigates.
So begins Argentine writer Ricardo Piglia’s fourth novel, Target in the Night, as detective fiction. Who killed Tony Durán and why? A gambling plot, the love triangle? Could one of the Belladona sisters have soured on the tripartite arrangement? My next guess: Racism? Durán is “a mulatto who shows up in a place where the last black people had disappeared—or dispersed until they blended completely into the landscape—fifty years earlier.”