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The Secret in Their Eyes

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  3,977 ratings  ·  491 reviews
Benjamín Chaparro is a man haunted by his past—a retired detective, he remains obsessed with the decades-old case of the rape and murder of a young woman in her own bedroom. As he revisits the details of the investigation, he is reacquainted with his similarly long, unrequited love for Irene Hornos, then just an intern, now a respected judge. Absorbing and masterfully craf ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published 2005 by Other Press
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Valerie The title of the Argentinian novel in Spanish is La pregunta de sus ojos.
The title of the (by John Cullen) translated to English novel 2011 is The Sec…more
The title of the Argentinian novel in Spanish is La pregunta de sus ojos.
The title of the (by John Cullen) translated to English novel 2011 is The Secret in Their Eyes
The 2009 Argentine movie is El secreto de sus ojos
The 2015 American movie is The Secret in Their Eyes
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank BaumThe Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. TolkienThe Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
IMDB 250
131 books — 55 voters
Las viudas de los jueves by Claudia PiñeiroThe Oxford Murders by Guillermo MartínezThe Secret in Their Eyes by Eduardo SacheriEl Periodista by Mariano Hamilton, Alejandro...Against the Oaks of Bashan by Julia Starling
Policial Argentino
23 books — 3 voters

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Average rating 3.92  · 
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I appreciated the subtle art of this tale of compromised justice and unfulfilled love in the context of life under the brutal regime in Argentina in the 60’s and 70’s. Benjamín Chaparro is an administrative clerk who helps coordinate judicial oversight of criminal cases in Buenos Aires. In his retirement he takes up the task of making a novel about an old case that changed his life and moved him to action beyond just a cog in a machine. In the process we get a wonderful example of acting on basi ...more
Jun 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
"The brevity or prolonging the life of a human being depends primarily on the flow of pain that person is forced to endure."

----Eduardo Sacheri

Eduardo Sacheri, an Argentinean author, has penned a gripping novel, The Secret in Their Eyes which has later been translated into English after this book's movie adaption won an Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film in 2010. So they call it "the novel that became an Oscar-winning film", which traces the story of a retired investigator trying to wri
Carol (Bookaria)
After watching this book's film adaptation (the Argentinian version) three separate times, it was about time I read the novel it was based on.

I absolutely love the film, and now I enjoyed the book. It's all about the characters, specially that of the main one, Chaparro, and his coworker, Sandoval. In the story, Chaparro is reflecting back on his life and trying to write a book about the brutal murder of a young woman 30 years ago.  The novel takes place in Argentina during the late 60s and throu
Tom Mathews
Jul 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who likes really good mysteries.
This book was amazing. I am amazed that a mystery with such an intricate plot could have been made into a movie, and an Oscar winning movie to boot! Sacheri's book rates as my top mystery of the year, maybe even longer.

Recently retired judicial officer Benjamín Chaparro has decided to begin his retirement by writing a book. His reasons are twofold; to purge himself of the 30 year-old cold case that has dogged his career, and also to provide an excuse for frequent visits to a coworker that he has
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Algernon (Darth Anyan) by: movie adaptation
Shelves: 2013
La pregunda de sus ojos - I like the sound of the Spanish title, the melodic twang that tempts me to put on an album by Astor Piazzolla in the background. I knew what to expect, after watching (and loving) the movie version that won an Oscar for Best Foreign Film. Actually, I wish I had discovered the book before seeing the movie, because some of the urgency and some of the surprising revelations are lost in a second reading. I understand Eduardo Sacherri actually worked on the script, s
Feb 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, favorites
This novel was so interesting and compelling that I finished more than half of the book in one day. I literally couldn't put the book down. Having watched the film, I thought that I wouldn&'t be as engaged with the book because I knew more or less how the story was going to unravel. I couldn't have been more wrong. Sacheri brought his character to life with his wonderful descriptions and dialogues filled with emotions and every day phrases. I felt as if I could run into Chaparro or Sandoval or ...more
Jeanette (Again)
Nov 07, 2011 rated it did not like it
This author employs some stylistic affectations ranging from the merely distracting to the downright annoying. The worst of these quirks is the frequent interruptions from the main character (narrator) so he can tell you about his writing process. These constant shifts made it impossible for me to follow the thread of the narrative.

I was also put off by the excessive use of foul language. I'm not bothered by it in small doses, but this book is loaded with f-bombs, and the word "asshole" is used
Sep 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
Benjamín Chaparro is a retired detective who is writing a book about a murder case he worked on years ago, and as he revisits the details of the investigation he also recalls the beginning of his long, unrequited love for Irene Hornos, then just an intern, now a respected judge. Set in the Buenos Aires of the late 1960s, Sacheri’s tale reveals the underpinnings of Argentina’s Dirty War and takes on the question of justice — what it really means and in whose hands it belongs.

Last week I got so ex
Feb 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A few years ago I watched the Oscar-winning Argentinian movie El Secreto de Sus Ojos (2009; vt The Secret in Their Eyes), and absolutely adored it -- I bored people by recommending it to them not once or twice but incessantly. (For the same reason, I've avoided the 2015 Hollywood remake.) At the time I was startled to find there was no English-language translation of the novel upon which the movie was based, but I discovered recently that Other Press had corrected this oversight.

Benjamin Chaparr
Beautiful writing (or possibly translation - I'm never quite sure when I'm reading a book in translation, but I suppose the original works must be well-written or the translation wouldn't be). The main character is a flawed individual who is at times bland, at times frustrating, but who we get to know better over the course of the story. The story itself is slow to develop, but ultimately satisfying.
Jennifer (JC-S)
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘Sometimes life takes strange paths to resolve our enigmas.’

Benjamín Miguel Chaparro was once an administrative clerk who helped coordinate the judicial oversight of criminal cases in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Now retired, with time on his hands, he sets out to write a book about the decades old murder of a young woman. It’s a case that has obsessed him since the beginning.

To write about the case, Benjamín Chaparro needs to revisit the past: 1970s Buenos Aires, Argentina’s Guerra Sucia (‘Dirty Wa
Jessica Woodbury
I'm glad I missed this on Netflix Instant by one day. I had no idea it was based on a novel... probably because it wasn't released in the US. But now it's here and it's an excellent read.

I often find that my favorite crime novels are those that don't have the typical cat-and-mouse approach, or the burned-out cop out for revenge. This novel has two different stories that work well together.

A clerk from the criminal court (who is much more involved in investigations than an American court) retires
Chavelli Sulikowska
Jan 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Gripping and pertinent. I was kept in suspense until the shock horror end. Written with intricacy, Sacheri presents an interesting set of characters, the inter-relationships are well conceived and dynamic. With Argentina’s Dirty War providing the backdrop, the novel raises critical questions relating to the course of justice and the fundamental constraints and failings of the legal system in achieving just outcomes for the victims and families of serious crimes.
Bajwa M
Sep 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, crime, argentina
Just loved it. All Stars. Completed it less than two days. My personal record. Its time to watch the movie again. If you compare the book and the Argentinian motion picture adaptation, the book provides more details and subsequently better understanding of the events and personalities involved. The motion picture adds more drama to the story by changing it completely except the theme. Anyways both are wonderful.
Loved the movie, enjoyed the book. Both break and mend my heart again.
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, fiction
I have always had an affinity for Spanish authors, I like international authors but I have a soft heart for Spanish authors. This might be because I myself am Spanish or because I like lyrical quality to their writing. Nevertheless, I was not disappointed.

Benjamin Chaparro is a retired court clerk, who decides one day to write a book about a case from his past. The story jumps back and forth from the present to the past, and it is mostly about the case, a murdered woman, the murdered who is seem
Luciana Nery
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The movie is a masterpiece. What I found is that the book is equivalent to it - not better, not worse, but different. The story is told vividly, with graceful prose, weighing with dignity and beauty two love stories and one tragic murder.

Without spoiling it, let's just say that the book/movie have changed forever my beliefs in capital punishment. I will not say in which direction it swayed my opinion - but I can say that I had formed it after careful analysis, reading of many conflicting points
Jun 14, 2017 rated it liked it
A bit bland? for my taste I guess. I appreciate the subtlety and all but hey not everyone can pull that off masterfully. I mean .. is this thriller? is this romance? or is this drama? A little bit of everything and nothing shows a sign of something, save for that particular part around the end (I was like ...WHATTTT??? well, that was pretty good). Hmm overall this book is OK at best, not that great.
This book has been sitting on my TBR shelf for so long, but I don't know *why* it got pushed down the pile. Well I'm glad I finally got to it, as it was a *wonderful* story and I really enjoyed it. It has a bit of everything - crime, romance, justice, corruption - and the characters were interesting. Next up is to watch the movie which has been sitting on my recorder for just as long...
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed the film a few years ago and the book lived up to my expectations. The structure of the book worked very well for me.
Oct 21, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, 2012-reads
I had a hard time deciding between 3 to 4 stars, but decided on 3, but please consider it 3 ½!

I first have to give a big thank you to Other Press, as I won this book last fall and finally have gotten around to reading it. And I’m glad I did! This was a great story. Benjamin Chapparo is a clerk of the court, newly retired, and with his free time, decides to write a book about the one case that encompassed his life. I need to do some research on the court system in Argentina, as Benjamin’s job, I
The Sunday Book Review
Oct 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Sacheri does an amazing job in getting the reader to feel this world he has created to be real. Not only in the way he presents architecture and scenery, but in the way he presents his characters. Not one introduced character is a throw away. They are each created and molded to help the story along and explain even the smallest of incidents.

The book breaks down into two story lines. You have the recounting of the murder and you are also witness to the love dance between two people that h
A. S.
Oct 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"The secret in their eyes" by Eduardo Sacheri follows criminal court investigator Benjamin Chaparro, as he retires and types up the story of his most memorable case--the murder of a young school teacher, Liliana Colotto, whose unexpected killing leaves her banker husband, Ricardo Morales, unable to go on with his life. The couple is in their twenties, and appears to be too young and nice to have had any enemies. But, as Chaparro reasons, Liliana--who was killed while in her own apartment--could ...more
Pam Bustin
Aug 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
A good solid story, told in an interesting way.
The closeness of first person tale telling in the book within a book...
And then the present world...
And more of the main character’s world in the 3rd person “outside” bits.
And for us English... another remove because of the translation.

Interesting to think about, especially since I read this while we were down in Sudbury to see Deux - the French translation of Mansel’s Two Rooms.

Seeing the show (another FANTASTIC translation of Mansel’s work by
Emma Monfries
Jan 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a crime thriller done perfectly. Protagonist Benjamin Chaparro is the narrative's detective; flawed, clever, principled, and full of doubt. So many crime thrillers subject readers to perfect heroes, to scarred saviours, but Chaparro subverts all of this, and is, instead, a thoroughly three dimensional character. There are good men and bad men in this story, and the good men are all drawn into a grey area of morality which asks the reader, "What would YOU do?" The story begins with the br ...more
Daniel Perry
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Decent thriller with a well-accomplished frame narrative to boot (frame narratives over a long book generally end up annoying this reader...). My one knock on the book, however, would be that though it gets further into Argentinian government and police corruption as the story goes on, it never quite shows us Argentina or Buenos Aires. I was looking forward to learning a little more about what the place is like. The lack of such atmosphere made me think of this essay, ...more
Katrina Katz
Apr 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Loved this book. Beautifully written and I loved how it switches between the first person perspective of Chaparo's most famous case and the third person perspective of Chaparo's trying to write his book., while dealing with never having told the woman he loves that he loves her! Beautiful moment where he reflects on a page's moment in the sun, where the reader turns and reads that page and it is exposed to the world, only to be plunged into darkness when the reader turns the page. Beautiful stuf ...more
Feb 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
I did NOT like how this started out. I was wondering where the heck the author was going to go with that viewpoint. It did get better, but this thread that he wove in was a little distracting, but not a deal breaker for me.

This was interesting. I liked the story. I can't say I understood it all because it took place in South America, but it felt solid. The MC had some quirks that I didn't like but they were so well entwined into who he was, it felt authentic. I also appreciated the ending becau
Jul 17, 2015 rated it liked it
The film version of this novel is a modern classic. Winner of the 2010 Oscar for best foreign language film, it's worth seeking out if you enjoy psychological mysteries that hinge on intricate plotting and a slow burn to the finish. The book takes that same path but is a bit more tedious and a bit more difficult to follow as the narrator jumps from past to present and reality to imagination (he is writing a novel) in finding answers to a criminal case that has haunted him for decades.
Margaret Sankey
Nov 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Haunting Argentinian crime novel, told in two distinct voices: the young, callow detective too inhibited by class and social mores to approach his smart and beautiful boss and too weak to resist the orders of the junta to bury a rape and murder of a young woman and that same detective thirty years later as a mature man with nothing to lose in revisiting his past, the case, and his lost love with new eyes.
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Eduardo Sacheri (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1967) es un escritor argentino. Licenciado en Historia, ejerce como profesor de secundaria y universitario. Comenzó a escribir cuentos a mediados de la década de 1990, relatos futboleros que encontraron una amplia audiencia gracias a la difusión que de ellos hizo Alejandro Apo en su programa “Todo con afecto”, que se emitía por Radio Continental.1 Reconoci ...more

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