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A stunning, prizewinning novel exploring the aftermath of the Peruvian Civil War, by one of the greatest living South American writers.

Adrián Ormache, a high-flying lawyer with a beautiful wife and two daughters, leads a privileged and glamorous life in one of Lima’s wealthiest neighbourhoods. But when his mother dies, he discovers a letter amongst her possessions making shocking claims about her now long-dead husband, Adrián’s father – a commander in the army during the Peruvian Civil War of the 1980s. As well as being linked to atrocities committed against the ‘Shining Path’ guerrillas, it appears that he also kidnapped and kept a local girl, whose family now seeks retribution.

Shocked out of his comfortable existence, Adrián becomes obsessed with finding the girl at the heart of the mystery, and sets out to face the harrowing realities of Peru’s recent past, and uncover the truth about his father.


The Blue Hour is a magnificent novel that describes ten years of civil war and terrorism with lucidity and resonant fantasy.

Mario Vargas Llosa

One of the major novelists of his generation.

Diario de Tarragona

The legacy of the Peruvian government's bloody war against the Maoist Sendero Luminoso guerillas in the 1980s has informed much of the country's best modern fiction, from Mario Vargas Llosa's Death in the Andes to Santiago Roncagliolo's Red April. Alonso Cueto’s fine, prize-winning debut novel stands in that tradition ... The conflation of Adrian’s personal trauma with his nation’s dark history is beautifully, delicately done.

Financial Times

The strength of the plot pivots on the lovers’ ambiguous feelings for one another: the intensity of their mismatched love and hatred is perfectly drawn. Cueto evokes the myriad of emotions … plausibly and effectively … Cueto manages to explore that quest both imaginatively and provocatively.

Times Literary Supplement

This is an intelligent novel … there are fine scenes, especially when Adrian travels north in search of Miriam and learns something of the horrors of the war between the government troops and the terrorists.

The Scotsman

As absorbing for its sketches of Lima as for its story, this is a primer for both a nascent Latin American genre and a place dealing with near-history’s horrors.


Peruvian writer Alonso Cueto is one of the novelists spearheading his country’s literary renaissance, drawing on the aftermath of Peru’s devastating civil war to do so.


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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    June 15, 2013

    Windmill Books

    320 pages

    RRP $19.99

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  • EBook


    January 5, 2012

    Cornerstone Digital

    320 pages

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