John Segovia is many things u American, corpulent, shambolic, and obsessed with the history of South America. This is what drew him to the city of Piura in the coastal desert of Peru, where every grain of sand teems with stories of Incas and Conquistadors. Here, where past and present intermesh, he thought he'd finally found a life for himself. He met Pilar and he married her; they had a baby girl. But John is now a widower, and a killer u a taxi driver u remains at large. In a riotous, decrepit city, where natural disasters make regular visits, John must somehow learn to be a father to his infant daughter, to cope with the visceral trauma of loss, and suppress a voracious desire for impossible revenge. This undertaking will not be a conventional one: it will feature an extraordinary cast of characters (a one-eyed nanny, a collective of monk-like vigilantes, the conquistadors themselves), travel centuries within a sentence, and take John from bordellos to bat-infested cinemas and ancient burial grounds in his attempts to 'beat back death'. Alive with risk and innovation, Pacazo is a novel which maximises the freedom of fiction. It gives living form to anger and fear and desire, to courage and kindness, strength and love, and tells a story as richly entertaining as it is moving.