Vásquez’s book, translated by Anne McLean and published in the U.S. by Riverhead in 2013, follows Antonio Yammara, a Colombian law professor who investigates the past murder of a friend who had been involved in drug running. The novel received a starred review from Kirkus.
The film adaptation will be written and directed by Roberto Bentivegna, who recently wrote the screenplay for House of Gucci, the 2021 film based on Sara Gay Forden’s book. Bentivegna also wrote the screenplay for a movie adaptation of Jo Nesbø’s short story “The Jealousy Man”; that film is currently in development.
Vásquez told Deadline, “I’m thrilled to have this novel adapted to the screen by Roberto Bentivegna, whose work I admire, and produced by the wonderful Cristina Palacio. The book couldn’t be in better hands.”
Bentivegna said that he was “captivated” by Vásquez’s novel, which he called a “masterpiece.”
“It is a story about people, first and foremost—and a wonderful opportunity to depict a ‘Latin Noir’ in the vein of the ’70s existential thrillers I love,” he said.
Michael Schaub, a journalist and regular contributor to NPR, lives near Austin, Texas.