Veronica is a successful young journalist, beautiful, unmarried, with a healthy appetite for bourbon and men.
She is a fascinating and complicated heroine, driven by a sense of justice but also by lust and ambition. *Sensual and terse, the novel is also fiercely critical of a system that tolerates the powerful and wealthy of Buenos Aires putting the lives of young boys at risk for their entertainment. When she hears about the suicide of a local train driver who has jumped off the roof of a block of flats, leaving a suicide note confessing to four mortal `accidents’ on the train tracks, she decides to investigate.
For the police the case is closed (suicide is suicide), for Veronica it is the beginning of a journey that takes her into an unfamiliar world of grinding poverty, junkie infested neighborhoods, and train drivers on commuter lines haunted by the memory of bodies hit at speed by their locomotives in the middle of the night. Aided by a train driver informant, a junkie in rehab and two street kids willing to risk everything for a can of Coke, she uncovers a group of men involved in betting on working-class youngsters convinced to play Russian roulette by standing in front of fast-coming trains to see who endures the longest. With bodies of children crushed under tons of steel, those of adults yielding to relentless desire, the resolution of the investigation reveals the deep bonds which unite desire and death.