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This is a very brief, almost skeletal suspense novel about the narco life, narrated by a singer who is a member of a drug lord's "court". The main plot events are betrayal, suspicion, murder, escape, and there are several of each in the slim volume. It's remarkable how much the author squeezes into so few pages.
He uses an unusual device of giving every character a title, such as The Jeweler, the Artist, the Journalist, instead of the more conventional device of a name. I guess there's a point about how the economy and society in Mexico are tied to the drug lords but it but it makes reading a little stilted in some places.
The word "cons" in the title is misleading. There aren't any "cons" in the customary sense of a con game played on an unsuspecting victim. The title in Spanish is "Trabajos Del Reino" which means to me Jobs in the Kingdom -which makes sense given the use of titles, rather than names, for characters. Or more poetically "Labors of the Kingdom" but I think neither of those would convey the notion that it's a suspense novel.
Speaking of translation, I thought it was very good, as there's a good deal of narco and other slang in the original that was beyond my comprehension.
The very best of Yuri Herrera's books in English.The translation is magnificent, the story is strange and so seemingly simple, it's easy to forget the larger more salient concerns in the text. I love this work immensely.