- Published Henry Holt and Co.; First Edition edition (April 1, 2010)
- 256 pages
- ISBN 978-0-8050-7960-9
- ASIN: B003GWX8L2 (Amazon Kindle)
- #6 in the Inspector Espinosa series set in Brazil
- Translated by Benjamin Moser from Portuguese
When the body of a prominent young urbanite is discovered in a scandalous state of undress, Espinosa must find the unlikely connections between two murders with no apparent witnesses or motive. Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza turns up the heat in this novel, supplementing his seductive prose with psychological twists and steamy secrets that lead to the unexpected climax.
Thanks to those who recommended I read BLACKOUT for South America in the 2013 Global Reading Challenge.
The first murder, that of a one-legged apparently homeless man, intrigues Detective Espinosa because it takes place in a district he knows well, close to where he grew up. The main suspects are two men who are collecting their parked cars in heavy rain after a dinner party. Espinosa prefers one over the other as a suspect but for a long time the case goes nowhere. Much of the investigation relates to how the victim got to the site of the murder, which is at the top of a very steep hill, and why he was there.
During part 2 of the story Espinosa and his team carry out a constant investigation of his preferred suspect, turning up at his place of work to check minor details of his story, or talking to his wife. We see most of the story through the eyes of this suspect, raising the question of how reliable a witness he really is. He claims to his wife that there are large parts of the evening that he doesn't remember. Espinosa ramps up the psychological pressure.
In places the author's style reminds me of Simenon and that is probably why I liked it so much.
Some readers will find the story's climax a bit too open-ended and inconclusive.
My rating: 4.6
4.5, THE SILENCE OF THE RAIN
1. The Silence of the Rain (2002)
2. December Heat (2003)
3. Southwesterly Wind (2004)
4. A Window in Copacabana (2005)
5. Pursuit (2006)
6. Blackout (2008)
7. Alone in the Crowd (2009)
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