Fraudulent Fertilisation
by Ludovico Gulminelli
Trafford Publishing

"I want to hurt him however I can. Now I've got the chance to take revenge, to get back what I lost because of him, to even come out making a profit."

"Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive." Sir Walter Scott's famous quote could be used to describe much of the plot of Gulminelli's story of a paternity scheme that backfires. Set in Mar del Plata, the second largest city of Buenos Aires Province in Argentina, the author's homeland, this tale of revenge and unexpected love trundles along in true, melodramatic fashion.

Updated with modern topics such as artificial insemination, parental rights, and abortion, yet still in keeping with the style that was popularized during the silent movie era and that has now found rebirth in many Asian television dramas, readers are introduced to a good-hearted but desperate damsel in distress named Alicia who is seeking an abortion for her 13-year-old sister. The shady doctor she approaches, Esteban Alvez, is a classic melodrama villain who is determined to have revenge on the lawyer, Roberto Buran, whose efforts once thwarted Alvez's plot to cheat a widow. Taking advantage of Alicia's situation, he convinces her to seduce Buran in order to get a sample of his sperm, supposedly to help clear up a paternity case. In actuality, Alvez plans to use the sperm to impregnate his equally despicable partner, Juanita, and then use the child as a tool to siphon off a million dollars from Buran. Will Alvez's wicked scheme succeed, or will the upstanding Buran and his friends manage to miraculously save the day?

Gulminelli, who is both a lawyer and judge, enhances his book with an insider's knowledge of how the court system works in Argentina. Apart from this touch of realism, though, the author has managed to perfectly capture the stereotypical characters, stilted dialogue, and nefarious plotting that traditional melodramas were so famous for.

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