Monday, March 16, 2015

The Oxford Murders by Guillermo Martínez

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A Perfect Crime.

Lately, I have these cravings for following clues, exercising curiosity, and making inferences. Few, among other things, those good murder mysteries can cater. Hence, this challenging, but brilliant workout.

We've heard of murder by numbers before, but, perhaps, murder by mathematical theorem is quite unique. It is said that pure Mathematics offers proof of absolute truth. But what if the truth eludes any rational calculations; can it be concluded as a perfect crime?

The perfect crime, he wrote, wasn't one that remained unsolved, but one where the wrong person was blamed.

Two mathematical geniuses, a veteran university professor, and a young post-graduate from Argentina, was brought together to solve a series of murders in the university town of Oxford. The murderer left symbols with a time stamp for these geniuses to find. The challenge is to find the next symbol in the series, before the killer strikes again.  

I enjoyed this book, despite its digression, here and there, to prove a theory. The story is less ostentatious that it sounds. The author’s prose is very much straightforward, but delectable, nonetheless. Much is left for the readers to speculate, including the protagonists’ motives and character. He drags the readers through divergent possibilities, where logic and convenience is stretched, bringing us closer to the truth, but never quite reaching it. We have to keep guessing until the end.


Book details:
Translator: Sonia Soto
Publication:  Penguin Books; September 6, 2006
Genre:  Fiction, Mystery
Rating:  ★★★★



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