This is a short novel that was shortlisted for the Man International Booker Prize a few years ago. It is essentially a novel that reads like a documentary and tells the story of a politically motivated murder in the 1970s. It is not a crime novel in the general sense but more of an exploration of the impact of such an act on the people surrounding the victim.

It is a quick and short read, well crafted and nicely constructed. The short nature perhaps adds to the elements of the story that shock, although the author also fails to fully explore some of the story in a way that might benefit the overall novel.

I was left feeling that there was something missing and that the full tale was missing. I thought there was more here and was ultimately a little disappointed by the brevity of the book.

Peter Miller 3/2

The Dinner Guest by Gabriela Ybarra
Harvill Secker 9781910701980 pbk Mar 2018