The characters in There’s no Laughter in the Sky (“No hay risas en el cielo”) move in different circles in the drug scene between Argentina and Mexico. A microcosm is created which inevitably casts a spell on the reader. There is the young Jonathan, who supplies a party organiser in Mexico with coke. As one of the guests slips the cocaine to the ground, he cannot control himself. His mother had carried the substance as a “mule” and died of a ruptured packet. In order not to be not killed by the drug cartel for which his mother worked, Jonathan is forced to open her body and remove the goods. The boundary between perpetrators and victims is sometimes rather fluid. The head of the largest drug cartel, called Murciélago, meaning bat, is blind. One night he senses that someone is watching him. In his immediate vicinity, a mobile phone rings. When Murciélago the next day hears the same ringtone coming from one of his men, he gives orders to kill him. Too bad that the day after the ringtone sounds again from another employee.
The stories each have their own plot and yet are intertwined. No hay risas en el cielo is the brilliant debut of Ariel Urquiza, whose talent is obvious and who in 2016 deservedly won the prestigious Casa de las Américas prize.