The Killing Fields

Our book club is discussing The Killing Fields: Harvest of Women later this month.  This title was chosen based on an unconfirmed recommendation from someone who does not attend the meetings.  Oops.  The book is terrible. I’m sure the author is a dedicated journalist and a human who is very concerned about the violent, mortal tragedies that occurred in Ciudad Juárez .  I hope that her investigative work and other activities helped bring about the punishment of some/any of the guilty and brought some comfort to the families of the murdered girls.  I also hope someone in the book club will be able to recommend a better (or just good) book on the terrible murders of young women here.

The book is one long string of facts, names, dates, coincidences, conspiracy theories, family connections, accusations, unanswered questions, vague implications and descriptions of corrupt Mexican politics.  There is a vague sense of chronological progress, but just barely.  I felt like the author had taken all the articles she had ever written about the subject, cut them up into separate two and three paragraph pieces, thrown them up in the air, and then pasted them into the book in some random order.  The author does break the book into “chapters” with titles, but then the paragraphs quickly and consistently veer away from the titles.  Due to the bad writing, I have no idea how much to trust the author.   Maybe everything she wrote is true, maybe not.

I’m going back to my books on Afghanistan and Iraq.

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1 comment to The Killing Fields

  • Hvanter R

    If you decide to come back to the subject of Femicide again, which I would encourage you to! I would recommend two novels and one academic reading that give you better information about the complex situation.
    First novel is a detective fiction- Desert Blood by Alicia Gaspar de Alba
    the second novel is If I Die in Juarez by Stella Pope Duarte
    the last is Making a Killing edited by Alicia Gaspar de Alba and Georgina Guzman.

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