During a ghostly week in September 1982, four nocturnal murders occurred in Buenos Aires, each of them coldly carried out and curiously similar, to the extent that they seemed like the same crime repeated four times.

The police looked tirelessly, but ultimately unsuccessfully, for the murderer for almost a month. In the end, they identified the assailant as a young man of nineteen: a strange, taciturn boy who admitted the crimes and described them in detail after his arrest without displaying any emotion. He didn’t make any incoherent statements, he maintained his calm and he didn’t give the impression of being insane.  However, the act itself was insane. There was no identifiable reason or understandable logic that had motivated him to kill.

Abnormal personality. Schizotypal personality disorder. Schizophrenic syndrome with psychopathic personality. Antisocial personality disorder with schizoid nuclei. Chronic delusion, compatible with paraphrenia or paranoia. Hysterical perverse psychopathy. Autistic. Stabilized. Prisoner. That strange boy from 1982 is today an older man who looks more like a public employee than a serial killer. In this book, that man speaks with a writer at the psychiatric hospital of the Ezeiza penal complex. The conversation visits the nebulous era of the crimes and goes through different moments of a story full of missing pieces, with a theme that is always present: strangeness.

Constructed from recordings of interviews, forensic documents and newspaper clippings, Magnetizado is a rare and difficult to classify text. It avoids interpretation and judgment, leaving room for the only thing that can bring us closer to understanding the nature of the crimes: the voice of its protagonist. Accompanied by that voice, the reader enters the world of the serial murder and stays in the disturbing, empty room on the other side. A book about crime, but also about a way to inhabit the world, or to be absent from it.

«Even though it is not a novel, Magnetizado attracts the reader as a magnet from the very first pages. Not just because of the morbid curiosity produced by the fact that it takes us into the heart of an assassin but because through his conversations with him, Busqued profiles a character who, more than sinister, seems at moments an awkward symptom of our society as well as the Argentinian penitentiary system that condemned him to years of confinement in prisons and psychiatric hospitals and huge amounts of legal drugs such as Ritrovil or Halopidol» —Diego Gándara, La Razón.

«A text filled with attractions, shadows and destruction» — Luis Alonso Girgado, El Ideal Gallego.

«In Magnetizado Carlos Busqued delves into the mind of an assassin in a book that is not a novel but that reads as such, leaving a strange taste in the mouth…  In this book, Carlos Busqued shows, once again, his ability to create a unique and disturbing universe» —Juan Carlos Galindo, El País.

«This book is neither crime fiction, nor dirty realism, nor journalism, nor reportaje, nor non fiction. Busqued has just invented a disjointed genre, just as raw as the harsh reality that inspires it, with which he revitalizes the expiring protocols of realism: a literary  composite or, to use a more formalist description, an ethical and metaphysical montage» — Graciela Speranza, Télam (Book of the Week).


  • USA (Catapult)
  • Camino (Norway)
  • EPEL (France)
Carlos Busqued

Carlos Busqued

Carlos Busqued was born in Presidencia Roque Sáenz Peña, Chaco (Argentina) in 1970 and currently lives in Buenos Aires. He produced the radio programmes Vidas Ejemplares, El otoño en Pekín and Prisionero del Planeta Infierno; and contributed to the magazine El Ojo Con Dientes. Finalist of the XIII “Alberto Lista" Prize with the short-story La vida media del artillero de cola.



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