Strange Tunnels Disappearing
Gary Ley’s second novel is a compulsive psychological exploration of two obsessional characters forced together in rural Peru. José is a politics lecturer on the theoretical wing of Sendero Luminoso, the Marxist revolutionary group in Peru. Hugo is a Brit, an aeroplane salesman with a deal to tie up in Brazil. José is pre-occupied by rural poverty and reactionary government; Hugo by international capitalism and Henry Meiggs, an early example of it who built the Peruvian railway system in the nineteenth century. Both are cogs in larger ideologies. They meet briefly while José is in hiding following an assasination in which he took no part. Unknown to both of them their paths will cross again in the person of Julia, José’s sister whom he recruited to the cause in her teens. This novel of contemplation is suddenly turned on its head when terrorist action intrudes a jarring shock for which neither José or Hugo are prepared and which demands action of which neither thought themselves capable.