Ricardo Bosque: Suicide on credit
Zaragoza: Mira Editores, 2009. 123 Pages, €13.00
Suicide on Credit is the new novel by Ricardo Bosque and the second black novel featuring Tana Marqués, the first of which was Send flowers to my funeral. Talking about Tana Marqués is unavoidable when talking about Suicide on credit because one of the book’s values is Tana’s bravery, her ease and her love of saying things as they are in a world which is inclined to use euphemisms and half-truths.
Florist by trade and practitioner of “extreme active euthanasia” by vocation. In other words, Tana Marqués is the one wielding the knife or gun, depending on the case, or she who administers the poison or gives the fatal push over the balcony to the suicidal who aren’t quite bold enough and who can pay a few thousand Euros. And she does it without scruples or double standards, totally naturally, like someone who sews a dress or puts rice into paella.
In Suicide on credit Tana wants to get to the bottom of the mess she finds herself when she is contracted to ‘suicide’ Martín Santos, an actor advanced in both years and decadence. In the company of a pair of school children who don’t seem to have much to do with the course of the action, but who bring colour to the plot, Tana gets closer to the disembodied world of the tabloid press. Perfectly identifiable parodies, z-list celebrities who would do anything to get a few minutes of fame, carrion-feeding journalists who would just as soon kick someone when they’re down as idolise that day’s ‘popular’ only to knock them down a few days later. A dreadful world, of celebrity gossip programmes and ‘reality shows’, which we discover accompanying Tana in her investigation. And Martín Santos’ turbulent parental relationships offer us a surprising outcome.
Ricardo Bosque has invented a singular, extravagant and undeniably attractive character. A brave woman, who doesn’t fool herself or try to fool others, and who supplements her income doing something which she doesn’t see as reproachable. Fun, cheeky, astute, that’s Tana Marqués, and that’s Suicide on credit too.