Crocodile Tears (Mercedes Rosende): media file

Reviews and media coverage of Crocodile Tears, by Mercedes Rosende, published by Bitter Lemon Press.

Crocodile Tears front cover

The Times (The best thrillers and crime novels of 2021 so far), 8 March 2021

“The first of Uruguayan writer Mercedes Rosende’s novels to be published in English tells the unlikely tale of how a cowardly kidnapper, a psychotic jailbird, a sleazy lawyer, a superstitious cop and a bulimic killer get involved in a disastrous armed robbery.”

Crime Watch (Author Q&A), 25 February 2021

Interview with Mercedes Rosende.

Crime Reads (extended excerpt), 23 February 2021

“The guy is chewing something. He smiles, shows the gum between his teeth, walks around Diego, almost dancing, like a boxer circling his rival, bobbing and weaving; he rolls up his sleeves, reveals his black tattoos, letters that spell out names, skulls with glowing eyes, red bloodstains gushing across his skin.”

Book Brunch, 12 Feb 2021

“Crocodile Tears occupies Elmore Leonard/Patrick Hoffman territory, with a cast of amoral characters observed intimately and ironically, and here with a certain amount – but not an overdose – of playful commentary.”

“The translation by Tim Gutteridge is a pleasure to read.”

Crime Watch (Review), 5 Feb 2021

“There’s an undercurrent of energy that suits the mayhem of the events that unfold. There’s also something of a voyeuristic quality to the way Rosende takes readers into these characters lives, while commenting on them here and there. We’re like Ursula, peering into the lives of others, fascinated. “

“Rosende, ably translated by Gutteridge, has some pizazz to her prose.”

Everything Zoomer, 4 Feb 2021

“In its English-language debut, this bungled caper’s black comedy has earned comparisons to Elmore Leonard.”

Crime Time, 3 Feb 2021

“The plot is devilishly clever, meshing disparate characters, outrageous situations and improbable coincidences with an off kilter logic that is convincing. The dysfunctional underbelly of Uruguayan society, be it the corporate boardroom or the crowded prison cell, is exposed to ridicule by a series of sharply observed vignettes.”

“Tim Gutteridge conveys the sardonic wit of this screwball adventure in his English translation.”

Crime Watch (Q&A), 21 Jan 2021

“Well, translation is really writing for lazy people. Someone else does all the hard work – plot, character, style etc – and I just come along and copy it but in a different language.”

Beyond the Books, 20 Jan 2021

“A book that introduces us to an entire range of weird and wonderful characters who all jumble together to attempt a heist which goes anything but smoothly along with fantastically dark humour and comedy that makes it a cracking, unique read.”

“The translation of the book by Tim Gutteridge is great.”

Raven Crime Reads, 20 Jan 2021

“I loved the way [Rosende] played with the structure with the book, seamlessly merging the differing styles of narration with good hearty doses of authorial intrusion.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed this one, with its perceptive translation by Tim Gutteridge, and cannot wait for the next to be translated”

Alice Banks Translation, 15 Jan 2021

Crocodile Tears is both comical and clever. Rosende expertly writes an intriguing story that never gives too much away, persistently leaving the reader on edge. “

“Thanks to Gutteridge’s brilliant translation, the anglophone reader is immersed deep into the heart of Montevideo, its petty yet hardened criminals, and its corrupt professionals.”

Sounds and Colours, 14 Jan 2021

“The delivery of these characters’ portraits, containing difficult societal observations but presented with a good dose of dry wit and intelligence, shows great skill on part of translator Tim Gutteridge too.”

Varietats, 13 Jan 2021

“with a sarcastic humor and a lot of surprises during the plot it was impossible to stop passing pages!”

Bookblast (review), 13 Jan 2021

“A dark tale about systemic corruption and criminality fuelled by poverty, Crocodile Tears is both entertaining and thought provoking.”

“The translation is rhythmic, poetic and bold in its language.”

What Rebecca’s Read, 12 Jan 2021

“The translation worked well and I really enjoyed the writing style”

BookBlast (Q&A), 11 Jan 2021

“Perhaps the challenge I enjoyed most came from the descriptive passages. I love that process of imagining a scene in order to recreate it.”

The Book’s Whiskers, 7 Jan 2021

“If you’re a fan of crime fiction, and you’re open to a fresh new take on this brilliant genre, then you shouldn’t miss Crocodile Tears.”

“Wow! If anything was lost in the translation (Mercedes is Uruguayan) then Crocodile Tears certainly isn’t the poorer for it: the plot flows well, the prose and syntax are spot-on, and humour crosses the cultural divide seamlessly.”

The Times, 5 Jan 2021

“It reads like a marvellous mash-up of Anita Brookner and Quentin Tarantino.”

New York Weekly Times, 4 Jan 2021 / Crime Fiction Lover, 4 Jan 2021

“Uruguay probably isn’t at the top of your list of places where clever crimes are hatched – with cleverer police detectives on the prowl – but Mercedes Rosende’s new book will clue you in.”

“Crocodile Tears has been newly translated into English by Tim Gutteridge, and his work is admirably seamless.”

Turnaround, 4 Jan 2021

“Welcome to the mean streets of Montevideo, Uruguay, and the tale of a bungled heist told with excoriating humour.”

Shots Crime and Thriller E-zine, Jan 2021

“In particular, the scenes set in Uruguayan prisons are powerfully done. Not a lot of giggles here, but probably depressingly accurate.”

Publishers Weekly, 4 Dec 2020

“Uruguayan author Rosende showcases her considerable talent in this offbeat crime novel, her English-language debut”

World Literature Today, Winter 2021

“This Uruguayan crime novel weaves multiple narratives into an at-once suspenseful and hilarious tapestry of crime gone awry”

“fast, slick and acerbically funny: buckle up and enjoy the ride.”

Midwest Book Review, Dec 2020

“With many an unexpected twist and laced with dark humor, ‘Crocodile Tears’ is an impressively original, exceptionally compelling, and deftly crafted story”

“Ably translated into English for an American readership by Tim Gutteridge”

The Guardian, 11 Dec 2020

Crimes in Translation, 13 Nov 2020

“The language is gritty and urban, with a transatlantic use of words such as patsy and shiv yet there are also illumining descriptions that must have been a joy to translate, whether it’s the secret late night trips to the refrigerator or the priest’s confession”

“…adeptly translated by PEN Translates Award winning Scotsman, Tim Gutteridge”

Love Reading

“Containing more than a smirk of humour, this is a bold, vibrant crime caper set in Uruguay.”

“I found myself completely caught up in the words, the translation by Tim Gutteridge placed me within a country I don’t know, yet enabled me to feel a connection.”


“What makes this sing is the wonderful prose which demands that you leave no paragraph, or perhaps no sentence, unread. Many translated works are simply awkward in a new language. Here, the translation is so good you might think it was originally written in English.”