By Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
Updated March 16, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT

Both a mystery and a study of madness, Laura Restrepo’s novel Delirium follows eccentric Agustina, who suffers a nervous breakdown while her husband is away from their Bogotá, Colombia home. Narrated from the points of view of Agustina, her husband, and her lover, and interwoven with the life of her mentally unstable grandfather, Delirium builds its suspense around the cause of Agustina?s distress. Despite the promising set-up, the novel — translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer — delivers little, meandering between the points of view of too many characters who fail to emerge as interesting witnesses. As one of them remarks, all too aptly, ”even strange behavior can be monotonous.” C+