The Art of Political Murder

The Art of Political Murder: Who Killed the Bishop?
Francisco Goldman

Author Francisco Goldman leads the reader through a dark labyrinth indeed in this account of the investigation into the murder of Bishop Juan Gerardi in Guatemala City in 1998. As things turn out, we never learn who killed the bishop. The leading suspects, after a series of trials, were only convicted of having been somehow involved. Such murkiness is endemic to Goldman’s Guatemala, an almost unimaginably violent, corrupt, paranoid country that “skipped the twentieth century” and whose national character was shaped by “cruelty and isolation.” Though sometimes – perhaps unavoidably – hard to follow, the puzzle-without-a-solution quality of the narrative and the frequent dips into absurdist black humour combine to create a compelling postmodern whodunit that engages in provocative ways with our familiar (twentieth-century) label of true crime.

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