This wonderful detective novel is set in Peru in the 1950s. Near an Air Force base in the northern desert, a young airman is found murdered. Lieutenant Silva and Officer Lituma investigate. Lacking a squad car, they have to cajole a local cabbie into taking them to the scene of the crime. Their superiors are indifferent; the commanding officer of the air base stands in their way; but Silva and Lituma are determined to uncover the truth.
Who Killed Palomino Molero, an entertaining and brilliantly plotted mystery, takes up one of Vargas Llosas characteristic themes: the despair at how hard it is to be an honest man in a corrupt society.
This was better than the last book of his that I read (In Praise of the Stepmother). It begins with a description of a rather gruesome murder, escalates to the sexual encounters and fantasies of the local gendarme, and it's downhill from there, except that he retains some mystery to the killing.