Crímenes imperceptibles / Los crímenes de Oxford / The Oxford Murders
Novel , 2003
More than 400,000 copies sold worldwide!
A compelling and sophisticated crime novel. Using rules and axioms, there will always be some propositions that can't be proved either true or false... But can this apply to murder?
On a balmy summer's day in Oxford an old lady who once helped decipher the Enigma Code is killed. After receiving a cryptic anonymous note containing only the address and the symbol of a circle, Arthur Seldom, a leading mathematician, arrives to find the body.
Then follow more murders - an elderly man on a life-support machine is found dead with needle marks in this throat; the percussionist of an orchestra at a concert at Blenheim Palace dies before the audience's very eyes - seemingly unconnected except for notes appearing in the maths department, for the attention of Seldom. Why is he being targeted as the recipient of these coded messages? All he can conjecture is that it might relate to his latest book, an unexpected bestseller about serial killers and the parallels between investigations into their crimes and certain mathematical theorems.
It is left to Seldom and a postgraduate mathematics student to work out the key to the series of symbols before the killer strikes again.
“The Argentinian Guillermo Martínez has created one of the best and most appreciated thriller novels that have been published in these past few years.” El Mundo, Spain
“Like Borges, his writing examines the consequences of abstract theories in the physical world. With a flick of the magician's wrist, he questions your ability to explain what is unfolding before your eyes. The shape of the novel is governed as much by the irrationality of people as it is by logical detective work. While creating an atmosphere of suspense, Martínez avoids any formulaic thrills and engages the reader in an enthralling conflict between the heart and the mind." Observer, Paperback of the Week
"A scholarly whodunit... anyone who loves a good mystery can share the quest." The New York Times Book Review
"The mix of mathematics and murder mystery makes for a powerful cocktail. The Oxford Murders is not the first thriller to combine the two, but it is one to do it successfully." Marcus du Satoy, The Guardian
"Guillermo Martínez is endowed with a keen eye for the material world and his own emotions, a confidential tone of voice and a winning sense of wonder about the mathematical thinking central to this book. All these attributes work magic here." The Washington Post
"Martínez retrouve la phrase littéraire et la dialectique souterraine d’un Conan Doyle, voire d’un Borges" Le Figaro
“Unusual blend of murder most foul and mathematics most pure… a playful intellectual exercise.” Daily Mail
“If you like your detective stories gore-free, with a strong crossword-solving element, this is for you.” The Times
“Well crafted and deeply entertaining.” London Review of Books
“An enthralling conflict between the heart and the mind.” The observer