Río Muerto

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Pub Date 4 Feb 2025 | Archive Date 3 Feb 2025

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Description

On the outskirts of Belén del Chamí, a town that has yet to appear on any map of Colombia, the mute Salomón Palacios is murdered a few steps away from his home. His widow, the courageous and foul-mouthed Hipólita Arenas, completely loses her sanity and confronts the paramilitaries and local politicians, challenging them to also kill her and her two fatherless sons. Yet as Hipólita faces her husband’s murderers on her desperate journey, she finds an unexpected calling to stay alive. This poetic and hypnotizing novel, told from the perspective of Salomón’s ghost, denounces the brutal killings of innocent citizens and at the same time celebrates the invisible: imagination, memories, hope, and the connection to afterlife.

On the outskirts of Belén del Chamí, a town that has yet to appear on any map of Colombia, the mute Salomón Palacios is murdered a few steps away from his home. His widow, the courageous and...


Advance Praise

“In this novel, Silva Romero explores with clarity and precision the way violence weighs on a society like Colombia, which seems to have naturalized it in a disturbing way.” —ADN Bogotá

“Written in visceral prose.” —El Tiempo (Colombia)

“A book that will persist as a key representative of literature dealing with the violence that devastated this country during the armed conflict.” —El Espectador (Colombia)

Río Muerto is a portrait of Colombia turned into a book, a work we should have in our homes and read with our families instead of watching the news bulletins. (…) This short novel by Ricardo Silva Romero encapsulates a hope beyond the kind revealed in the story itself: the kind of hope that reflects the power of contemporary Colombian fiction to convert the horror of war into literary art.” —Diario de Paz Colombia

“In Río Muerto, Ricardo Silva Romero recreates in poetic and intense prose another side of the horror of our era.” —Abisinia Review (Colombia)


“In this novel, Silva Romero explores with clarity and precision the way violence weighs on a society like Colombia, which seems to have naturalized it in a disturbing way.” —ADN Bogotá

“Written in...


Marketing Plan

  • Advance galleys and digital reader copies
  • Digital assets including trailer & author video
  • Signed book plates available
  • National TV, radio, print, and online review campaign
  • Consumer-facing national advertising campaign on Shelf Awareness, Lithub, NPR, Foreword Reviews, Goodreads
  • Virtual or in-person author events
  • Book club discussion guide
  • Bookstore co-op available
  • Excerpt placement
  • Social-media campaign & Goodreads Giveaway
  • Advance galleys and digital reader copies
  • Digital assets including trailer & author video
  • Signed book plates available
  • National TV, radio, print, and online review campaign
  • Consumer-facing...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781642861457
PRICE US$19.99 (USD)
PAGES 196

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Average rating from 12 members


Featured Reviews

I really enjoyed reading this book, it had that mystery element that I was looking for in the description. I was engaged with what was going on and thought the overall story worked. The characters were smartly written and glad the overall feel worked. I enjoyed the way Ricardo Silva Romero wrote this and can’t wait for more.

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This book was a difficult read. The most difficult part is the fact that this work of fiction is rooted in the real life terrors of people living in Colombia. The protagonist, Hipólita, has lost her husband-knowing he has been shot by a powerful and brutal man, and his cronies. She falls deep into rage and grief and only see martyrdom as the answer for justice. What makes her stance so gut-wrenching is that she wants her boys to also die with her. The author creates Hipólita as a realistic and conflicted person living under extreme oppression-ready to burn everything down. Her actions also beg the questions: what can one person do against injustice? Can grief blind you to truths? What if your desire for right and wrong to be uncovered is warped with selfishness? And can hope really endure in times of never-ending war? As Hipólita barrels towards the end she desires, her deceased husband becomes her counterbalance-desperately trying to snap her out of her rage and show her love once again. And while he was a man of flaws while alive, as laid bare through his rehashing, his love for his family burns bright-helping him to come to terms with his life, while trying to save his family through hope.

This book is not an easy read but it isn’t meant to be. Go into it willing to learn and be humbled by what others live with everyday. It’s not for the faint of heart.

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My thoughts are conflicted on this book, it was a bit confusing at first and hard to get into but the farther I got into the novel the more it started to grab me. It is a heart wrenching story of one family that endured terrifying acts of the corrupt. This is just one story of many that could be told of the horrific things that have happened for many, many years and still happen to this day in Columbia. The end of the book goes into detail explaining the attempts to fix the corruption, mainly due to drug trafficking, throughout the years, unfortunately the problem is no less now than before. Very, very sad to know that even though this is fiction it is telling a story of nonfiction events.

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"Rio Muerto" by Ricardo Silva Romero is a captivating and darkly atmospheric novel that delves into the complexities of Colombian society, blending elements of mystery, psychological thriller, and social commentary. The translated version preserves the essence of Silva Romero's prose and storytelling, allowing English-speaking readers to immerse themselves in the rich narrative tapestry he weaves.

Set against the backdrop of Colombia's tumultuous history, "Rio Muerto" follows the journey of its protagonist as he navigates the treacherous waters of memory, identity, and trauma. The novel's intricate plot unfolds through a series of interconnected vignettes, each revealing a new layer of the protagonist's psyche and the society in which he lives.

Silva Romero's writing is both lyrical and visceral, drawing readers into the visceral reality of his characters' experiences while also exploring larger themes of violence, corruption, and the search for redemption. The novel's evocative imagery and vivid descriptions create a sense of place that is both haunting and immersive, transporting readers to the streets of Bogotá and the murky depths of the human soul.

At its core, "Rio Muerto" is a thought-provoking exploration of memory and the ways in which the past continues to shape our present and future. Through its complex characters and intricate plot twists, the novel challenges readers to confront uncomfortable truths about themselves and the world around them, making it a compelling read for anyone interested in literature that pushes the boundaries of conventional storytelling.

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I found this book to be different than I expected. Although the slow pace of the beginning was a bit tedious for me, I really enjoyed reading the book once I got past the initial chapters. It had the mystery element that I had been hoping for, and I found myself engaged in the story in the end The characters were well-written, a solid 3 stars for me

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My 6P review: publication, plot, people, place, prose/pace, praise

Salomon the mute, is murdered a few steps away from his home and his widow, the courageous and foul mouthed Hipolta loses her sanity and challenges those in the community to kill her and her sons.

Told from the ghost of Salomon, the story explores the violence in Columbia and the corruption throughout the community from the ranks of the police to the pastor who thinks he is one step below God.

It also tells of the love between Hipolita and Salomon and the determination of their sons Maximiliano and Segundo to not only bring their mother out of her stupor but to convince her that they do not need to die as well.

The author used very long sentences, but they seemed to flow. The writing was actually very poetic.

I do not know enough about the trials of the people of Columbia to have felt strongly about this book and that is probably a fault on my part more than the author.

I would recommend this book purely for the way it was written

Thank you to NetGalley for a copy in return for an honest review

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