"Since they shot her at point-blank range while she was being kissed, she confused the pain of love with that of death." Rosario Tijeras is the violent, violated character at the center of Jorge Franco's delicately balanced novel, set in self-destructing 1980s Medellin. Her very nameevoking bespeaks her conflict as a woman who becomes a contract killer to insulate herself from the random violence of the streets (in a country where it is common practice among her colleagues to boil bullets in holy water before using them). Then she is shot, gravely wounded, and the circle of contradiction is closed. From the corridors of the hospital where Rosario is fighting for her life, Antonio, the narrator, waits to learn if she will recover. We join him in his nighttime vigil. Piece by piece, as he moves through layers of recollection and speculation, we reconstruct the friendship between the two, the story of her many lovers, and her life as a hitwoman.--[from publisher's description].