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Dark Echoes of the Past

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  220 ratings  ·  33 reviews
The first novel by multiple-award-winning Chilean author Ramón Díaz Eterovic to be translated into English—a landmark event for fans of crime fiction.

Private investigator Heredia spends his days reading detective novels; commiserating with his cat, Simenon; and peering out over the Mapocho River from his Santiago apartment. The city he loves may be changing, but Heredia ca
Paperback, 270 pages
Published December 1st 2017 by AmazonCrossing
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Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars
Attention cat lovers!! This book was written for you. Heredia is a Santiago, Chile private detective who makes much of his income by writing reviews of books that he reads. He also talks to his cat, Simenon, and Simenon talks back to him. Virginia Reyes asks him to investigate the murder of her brother, German. The police have written it off as a robbery gone wrong. Heredia investigates and suspects that the murder has to do with German's arrest and torture under the Pinochet dictatorship
Jul 29, 2018 rated it liked it
I wavered between giving this two or three stars and settled on three on account it brings to light some of the atrocities of the Pinochet years. The characters were one dimensional. Although other characters called the Detective an asshole he didn't come across that way. After all he talked to his cat and his cat conversed back - what cat was going to talk to an asshole? The recurrence of not getting Happy Sunday's name right wore thin - maybe he was an asshole after all.
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery/Thriller Readers
**Won through Goodreads Giveaways!!**

4 Stars (review to follow)

This reads like classic noir from the 50s. Tough, Hard-nosed detective, on the case after a damsel in distress walks in with a tale of murder. The background of this murder is Chile about 30 years after the Pinochet regime. A victim looking for justice, is murdered. Why?? Robbery gone wrong or something more sinister??

The tale that the author weaves is full of conspiracy, torture, lies upon lies, and in the end some resolution. Not
Harriet Steel
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
I liked the character of Heredia, the private investigator in this series by a Chilean writer who is, apparently, much loved by readers in his own country, but he was new to me.
Heredia is world weary and a bit lazy but can be jolted into action if his sense of justice requires it. When he doesn't have a case, he earns his living reviewing dull books on politics and economics. In his leisure time, he reads detective novels compulsively. He thrashes out his cases with his talking cat, Simenon, whi
Bonnye Reed
Dec 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
GNAB Dark Echoes of the Past was first published in 2008, and translated into English for US publication in 2017. Ramon Eterovic tells of the lingering problems and pain experienced in Chile long after their troubles resulting from the coup d'etat beginning in 1973. This was a very interesting read, and awoke in me a desire to know more about the history here. When the coup began, encouraged by President Nixon, Chile was the only nation in South America with a democratic government. Following th ...more
Lady Alexandrine
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime-novels
“I want to silence the echoes of the past that I can’t stop hearing.”

I enjoyed parts of this book that remarked on Chilean history and culture, but apart from that "Dark Echoes of the Past" was a letdown for me.

I didn’t like the main character, a private detective Mr. Heredia, who seemed like some kind of dinosaur from the old noir fiction. Through the whole book he was in a permanent state of existential crisis. All days he slept, suffered from bad memories and the general pain of existence. E
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is like a throwback to detective novels of the 40's. Author even pays homage to character Philip Marlow. I liked private investigator Heredia. He's that jaded, but do the right thing guy. He has a cat that plays a prominent role in this book, which as a cat person I liked. He also reads detective novels.

I really don't know anything about Chilean politics or the history of their dictator rule. But interestingly it rather shows the affects of a dictatorship and how cruel it is on citizen
Book Riot Challenge '18: A novel in translation

I quite liked this, though crime is not really my favourite genre. The pacing is a little slow for my taste, but I loved the character of Heredia - his snarky relationship with his cat is the perfect counterpoint to the difficult and upsetting material he is investigating (and his off-the-boil kinda-romance). I knew very little about this period in Chile's history and I think I would have liked a little more background, but that's the thing with nov
Carol Dimitriou
Nov 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
This book, which I won in a Goodreads giveaway, was an interesting and enjoyable read. It was a detective story as well as a story about Chile's violent past. The detective, Heredia, has a cat that he talks to, and imagines talks back to him. He reads poetry, and the American author of detective stories, Dashiell Hammet, and has an office in his apartment. This is the first American translation of the author's work, but he is read in many other countries and is very popular. Judging from this bo ...more
Book Him Danno
Feb 07, 2018 rated it liked it
This is the first book I have read by Ramón Díaz Eterovic.
It is always tricky to read a book that has been translated into English from another language because some words and means will not always be the same.

This book is one that feels as if it was lost in translation though out the book.
The history was fascinating and I can't wait to learn more about this time in Chile. The story has moments that will grab readers and other times they will feel lost in the story.
Thank you to Netgalley for th
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Private detective talks to his cat (who talks back) and eats and smokes while drinking heavily through a case that holds all the tension of a two day old balloon.
The character just wasn't believable that he was someone who could handle himself in the underbelly of society. Seemed more of a sad figure that time had passed by.

Anyway, maybe the original language novel holds more nuance than this version.
Chris Chanona
Nov 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great read

At the heart of it all a world weary detective who talks to his cat ...... who replies, often with admonishments. Enjoyable read with literary and music references. Heredita investigates a murder which is anything but simple, leading to Chile's past of torture and dictatorship.
Jyne Christine Mills
Dark Echoes of the Past

It is the first book of a Chilean author that co have read. I found it interesting and confusing at the same time. I think I would have enjoyed it more of if I had understood the regime that existed out there? I would certainly read another of this author's books. After I have read about the culture of the country.
lesley travis
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this novel about Chile fascinating as the dictatorship of Allende is a dark time in the relatively recent past.Echoes of Los Desparicdos in Argentina.Muy bueno un otro mas por favor

Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Translation of a Chilean crime novel featuring Heredia, a private investigator living in Santiago. It’s quite a slow-paced tale, but an enjoyable read and conjures up a sense of living in Chile amid the political and cultural implications of the previous dictatorship under Pinochet.
Aug 18, 2018 rated it liked it
I wanted to like it, but I think it would have been better in Spanish as opposed to the English translation. Too many metaphors and too much flowery language
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
No, not for me. I just couldn't get in to it. Not really a good review but I do think it was probably just me and not the book.
Jul 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If this was a standalone novel, I think I would be much harsher on this. However, as it appears there are other books in the series, my opinion has softened a bit.
The story follows Heredia, a private investigator in Chile. Along with him is a newsagent, and his talking cat Simeneon, whom he helps talk and solve cases with his advice. Unusual and quirky, but kind of cool.
The novel itself almost feels like a Western, something from a bygone era, where crime and punishment were solved and dished
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think this was another Amazon first look book and yet again glad I didn't have to pay.

I was looking forward to it, I remeber the protests when Pinochet was hiding out in a mansion I Surrey so thought I would get some more insight- how wrong I was.

The translation is a cross between being too literal from Spanish and leaning towards Americanisms, add in the talking cat and it is bizarre. It isn't a very enthralling detctive story and Heredia isn't very dynamic so is totally 2 dimensional. It's t
Jun 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, latin-america
The reluctant detective Heredia is a likeable character with a misleadingly shambolic style and a perspicacious eye. This tale has a nice political touch, exposing some of the darkest workings of the Pinochet regime and bringing some of those who were responsible to justice, albeit many years after their crimes. The author also gives us a nice sense of Santiago as a place - a much less exciting city than (say) Buenos Aires but with an equally cruel past. I found the plot became rather meandering ...more
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Old Sins Have Long Shadows

A man is killed in, what appears to be, a botched robbery in Santiago. His sister hires Heredia to investigate and it quickly becomes clear that the key to the murder lies in the brutal days of Pinochet's regime.

This is a dark, humorous tale with a colourful supporting cast, including Simenon, the cat, that rejoices in its noir antecedents. I look forward to meeting Heredia again, soon.
Alison Nobbs
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A different style of detective

Interesting setting and you really get an impression of the problems for Cuba mixed in with a fast paced detective story. The author does a great job of making a rough introvert someone to relate to particularly through the use of his cat. Not your normal detective story and at points there are quite a lot of characters but well worth a go
Victoria Zieger
I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway. I found it so slow and I had such a hard time sticking with it. The characters were confusing and the main character was not likable. I also was getting frustrated because he kept saying that he had nothing to move the case along and it was a little overdone. I just didn’t care for the story that much or the characters.
Nov 20, 2018 rated it liked it
A competent detective novel with the requisite drinking, beatings, death, and people with something to hide. This one had a talking cat and was set in Chile, which is all that really separates it from a hundred others.
Richard Wahlstrom
Chilean Mystery

One could reasonably call Detective Heredia “hardbitten,” but that’s also his charm from the perspective of the reader. A crime noir set in Santiago and its memories.
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: crime, pi, non-uk-us
Wasn't a huge fan. The writing style felt off to me. Interesting to find a bit out about Chilean history which I was v ignorant about.
Standard detective story set in post-junta Chile; to be honest the background and historical detail was the most interesting part of this for me.
Mrs J M Sadler
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Take time to get into the story

Translator has made excellent task of writing this story. Sir back and take time to get into the characters and their lives
Allison Jones-Lo
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Want a good mystery? Read this book!
Tango Dancer
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chandler with a Chilean accent, and an interesting look at a society coming to terms with a very troubled past.
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