Ayo Onatade is an avid reader of crime and mystery fiction. She has been writing reviews, interviews and articles on the subject for the last 12 years; with an eclectic taste from historical to hardboiled, short stories and noir films
Far South is a rather unusual story. It is a mixture of multimedia, graphic novel and with links to YouTube. Whilst it claims to be a crime story, this is only a fragment of the story.
The plot of the story turns on the disappearance of an Uruguayan theatre director who is living in Argentina and who disappears just days before he is due to stage a new play. Ex-cop (now a PI) Juan Manuel Pérez investigates the disappearance after being approached by some members of the collective. Pérez is known to the collective as he once helped them when they were attacked by a group of criminals. Pérez became a PI after being forced to leave the police after uncovering local corruption. As he investigates what happened to the missing director the story becomes much more about Pérez’s past along with the shadowy political history of Argentina.
Far South is not a story that has a lot of tension. In fact one struggles in hindsight to see it as a crime novel. What it does show is in fact an ingenious use of various types of media to tell the story. For example whilst the main part of the book is presented as a series of extracts from Pérez’s notebook interspersed with statements from witnesses, another part of the story is told in comic book form. There are also the hyperlinks to consider as well as there are a number of links and QR codes to websites. As engaging and fascinating as this is it did not really do anything in my opinion for the story. One could have easily done without it. It is a shame not more was done with the film section.
Far South is very postmodern and from that point of view is an interesting read. However it did not do as much for me as I hoped it would. Far South is an creative and inventive book that is certainly worth reading even if it is just to appreciate how it has been constructed. Just don’t expect too much.