■ REVIEW: The Silver Gaucho
Confusing but interesting tale

This is an almost local novel with part of the story set in Dunedin and Central Otago. It follows the adventures of Lockie Steele as she travels to Argentina in search of material for a new book. It is here that she comes in contact with the Mabon family.

Seriously wealthy and connected, they persuade Lachlyn to search for their younger son / brother who has cut himself off from them and is adrift somewhere in New Zealand.

Part travelogue part drama, the story follows both Lockie’s experiences in Argentina and her search for the missing son in New Zealand. The story is also influenced by the ‘Silver Gaucho’, a cult Argentine soap opera.

The elder Mabon son plays the part of the gaucho and this growing knowledge and interest in the show inspires a book subject for Lachlyn and a fitting title for this novel.

Told in a combination of narrative, flashbacks and research interviews, the differing parts do seem confusing at times but they add up to an interesting tale.

The Silver Gaucho, by Jackie Ballantyne (The Doby Press)

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