EXPLODE THE WORLD FAMILIAR
A nation divided. A presidency under siege following an election sabotaged by a foreign power. Covert operations, inflammatory propaganda, mass demonstrations and street violence threaten the peace and stability of a long-standing democracy. This was Chile in the early 1970s.
Alejandro wants desperately to believe in miracles after the secret police detain his father in the wake of the military coup. By 1997, he believes if he keeps quiet about injustice, if he sticks to his mundane life teaching law and skirts controversy, he will be safe from the repressive forces that murdered and disappeared thousands. When the family priest goes missing, Alejandro collides with Mariana, a trouble-prone American journalist seeking to unearth her own mother’s clandestine identity based on a lead passed to her by the priest prior to his disappearance. As their search weaves through the chaotic port city of Valparaíso, Alejandro and Mariana discover their lives are intertwined by crimes long buried by the shadowy apparatus of the dictatorship and international co-conspirators.
The title of the manuscript derives from rhetoric found in an interrogation manual used by the CIA throughout the Continent's dirty wars. To ‘explode the world familiar’ is to torture someone to a threshold where he becomes psychologically malleable to the interrogator’s suggestions.