Read Invisible Country by Annamaria Alfieri Online


From the author of City of Silver, a beautifully rich and puzzling historical mystery set in Paraguay, 1868A war against Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay has devastated Paraguay. Ninety percent of the males between the ages of eight and eighty have died in the conflict and food is scarce. In the small village of Santa Caterina, Padre Gregorio advises the women of his congregFrom the author of City of Silver, a beautifully rich and puzzling historical mystery set in Paraguay, 1868A war against Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay has devastated Paraguay. Ninety percent of the males between the ages of eight and eighty have died in the conflict and food is scarce. In the small village of Santa Caterina, Padre Gregorio advises the women of his congregation to abandon the laws of the church and get pregnant by what men are available. As he leaves the pulpit, he discovers the murdered body of Ricardo Yotté, one of the most powerful men in the country, at the bottom of the belfry.There are many suspects: Eliza Lynch, a former Parisian courtesan who is now the consort of the brutal dictator, Francisco Solano López, and who entrusted to Yotté the country's treasury of gold and jewels; López himself, who may have suspected his ally Yotté of carrying on an affair with the beautiful Eliza; Comandante Luis Menenez, local representative of the dictator, who competed with Yotté for López's favor, and a wounded Brazilian soldier who has secretly taken up with one of the village girls.Lynch is desperate to recover the missing gold, and the comandante is desperate to prove his usefulness to López. To avoid having an innocent person dragged off to torture and death, a band of villagers undertake to solve the crime, including Padre Gregorio, the village midwife, her crippled husband returned from combat, their spirited daughter, and a war widow. Each carries secrets they seek to protect from the others, while they pursue their quest for the truth.Lyrical, complex, and meticulously researched, Annamaria Alfieri's Invisible Country is an ingenious cross between Isabel Allende and Agatha Christie....

Title : Invisible Country
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781250004536
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Invisible Country Reviews

  • Benjamin Shurance
    2019-01-21 01:28

    This is a murder mystery set in Paraguay during the Triple Alliance War. While it does at times feel like a sleazy South American soap opera (telenovela), some of the characters were engaging and the historical-cultural aspect was well-executed (except for a couple of things, such as continually misspelling Pirebebuy). I cannot wholeheartedly recommend it, however, as it contains portayals of sexual activity that were seemingly unnecessary to the plot and at times crassly narrated.

  • Diane S ☔
    2019-02-10 01:37

    3.5 First book I have ever read set in Paraguay and I really enjoyed this novel. A first it was quite difficult to keep all the characters straight but as I read on it became easier. Between 1863 and 1870 Paraguay fought against Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay, Paraguay lost 90% of it's male population which is the beginning of this mystery, and the small town of Santa Caterina is starving for food. There is a murder of an important man, and the villagers themselves set out to find the killer so that an innocent person is not to to death. Loved the small town setting, the descriptions of their culture and what they needed to do to survive and protect themselves. This is a brilliant mystery for those who love combining their mysteries with some historical fact and a different country and time period.

  • Leighton Gage
    2019-01-25 05:43

    Annamaria Alfieri’s first novel, City of Silver, was set in seventeenth-century Potosi.Now, in Invisible Country, she carries us two centuries forward, and a thousand kilometers away, to the little Paraguayan village of Santa Caterina.As the book begins, the War of the Triple Alliance, the bloodiest clash in South American history is in its fourth year. Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay continue to pursue their conflict of attrition against little Paraguay. Santa Caterina’s crops and livestock have been consumed or confiscated for the war effort. People are starving. The young men of the village have been killed or conscripted. Only the old, the infirm, or those favored by Francisco Solano Lopéz, Paraguay’s cruel dictator, remain.The war would end almost two years in the future with the death of Lopéz and the dispatch, into exile, of Eliza Lynch, his mistress and partner in crime. But, at the time of the story, the country continues to live in fear of the ruling couple, and their stranglehold on the village is strong.When Ricardo Yotté, a close ally of Lynch (an Irish adventuress whose real-life exploits shrink those of Evita Peron into near insignificance) is murdered, the dictator pressures his local Comandante, Luis Menenez to find the culprit.Menenez knows his head will be on the block if he fails. A coward and a bully, he has no compunctions about accusing an innocent, even his war-hero brother-in-law, to save his own skin. So, to ensure that justice is done, a small band of Santa Caterina’s prominent citizens takes the initiative to come together and root-out the killer.In the end, they do. But it’s just about the last person anyone would suspect.Invisible Country excels as a mystery, but it’s a lot more than that. It’s a love story, several love stories in fact, all going on at the same time.Love and hate, desperation and despair, terror and suspense, unexpected twists and outright surprises, Invisible Country has them all.Even a suggestion about what might have happened to Paraguay’s national treasure, a hoard that was reputed to have traveled with Lopéz and Lynch and, to this day, has never been found.It’s a lovely book.And no one is better at spinning South American mysteries than Annamaria Alfieri.Incidentally, I once blogged about Eliza Lynch on the blog I share with six other writers of “International” mysteries, Murder Is Everywhere.Those of you who would like to see pictures of Eliza and her lover, Solando Lopéz, might like to go there:

  • Kgwhitehurst
    2019-01-29 02:31

    I could not finish this book because it is simplistic. The narrative voice is both uninteresting and undifferentiated because the style is plodding. There are three major reasons for this--most sentences do not exceed eleven words, the sentence structure is either SVObj or SLVPn or PAdj, with very little co-ordination or subordination, and the vocabulary is limited. The overall effect is to create not an evocative, nuanced narrative, but rather a text that appears to have been by and for a 7th grader. I'd rather have a text shot over my head, a la China Mieville, who makes me reach for a good dictionary, than have one dropped at my feet. The biggest issue after the lack of technical writing merit is the following--Alfieri privileges plot over characterization, evinced by the speed with which the plot moves, and the excessive number of characters prevents any of them from having any real depth or my developing any attachment to any of them.INVISIBLE COUNTRY was a great disappointment after THE CITY OF SILVER.

  • Andrew Wanner
    2019-01-28 04:40

    yeah... its trash... but its set in paraguay and gives some historical context?

  • Jane
    2019-02-19 07:30

    I will read ANYTHING about Paraguay's war against the triple alliance, so finding Alfieri's second book was catnip for me. Her first, City of SIlver, provided a fascinating glimpse into Spanish colonial power and intrigue in the city of Potosi, which is apparently the best-preserved baroque Spanish city in the world. I want to go! Invisible Country did not live up to Alfieri's first, but it rolled along easily enough to hold my interest. That war ended in 1866, and Paraguay is still recovering from it.

  • Elli
    2019-02-21 01:45

    One does not read that many books involving Paraguay. I found this interesting and a very good book! It's a fact that there was a triple alliance war wihich involved Brazil and Argentina going to war with small Paraguay, with no really good reason other than grandiose dreams of the dictator in question. But there comes a time no matter how scared and beaten you are, you have to just come forth and keep going, and that's what happened. A bit of justice in it's own way.

  • Jean Kelly
    2019-01-30 07:50

    An interesting novel that centers around a murder but that focus is used to describe unforgettable characters in Paraguay in the time of a war that is tearing the country apart. The author sounds genuine no matter what the character she is describing - dictator type general, priest who urges people to forget the rules and get the women pregnant so the country doesn't die out, young girl who falls in love with one of the enemy.

  • Kate
    2019-02-21 02:43

    Amusing, very human, and informative - but not much of a mystery. At any rate the mystery is not the most important part of the story here. What IS striking about the book is the story of something called the "Triple Alliance" and a war in the 19th century that practically decimated Paraguay, virtually a genocide by a dictator who ruled the country at the time and sent his people into an ill-advised war against Brazil. Heartbreaking, really, although told with humor and humanity.

  • Kathleen Freeman
    2019-02-02 08:44

    While the story and mystery itself were just okay, the fascinating thing for me was the time and place in history. Paraguay is a country I do not know anything about so for me learning about it was interesting.

  • Jennifer Robb
    2019-01-29 05:45

    One of my employees recommended this book to me after she read and enjoyed it. I found it hard to want to keep reading. I think I did not care enough about the characters to drive me to keep reading to find out what happened to any of them.

  • Miriam Holsinger
    2019-02-21 08:50

    Took me a bit to get through the beginning - a bit depressing as it starts in a warn torn country where 90% of the men have been killed. But once I got past that I enjoyed the writing style and the array of characters.

  • Bonnie
    2019-02-10 07:52

    One of the best of historical fiction, this is the second I've read by Annamaria Alfieri, and I loved them both. Set in colonial Central America, the descriptive passages and characterizations give a strong sense of the culture and time. And there's a mystery to boot!

  • Wendy
    2019-01-30 00:33

    I enjoyed this book. It was interesting, historical and difficult to read at times. I want to learn more about Paraguay. They seem to be a proud, strong people whose culture deserves studying. I want to read about today's Paraguay.

  • Ray
    2019-02-08 00:49

    Fun read. I give it 3.25. It's sort of a romantic comedy of errors history story.

  • Julieb
    2019-02-10 08:50

    Just couldn't get into the story...

  • Lisa
    2019-01-28 07:38

    I thought I'd give this a try (new to me author), but I just couldn't really get into this book, so am quitting after one hundred+ pages.