Saturday, March 20, 2010

Brazil in December (crime novel)

December Heat

Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza: December Heat

The crime novel is set in Rio de Janiero, Brazil: A retired cop looses his wallet, and in the same night, his hooker girlfriend gets killed. This set off a whole slew of killings of street people, which are all somewhat connected to each other, but the killings are for no apparent reason. The cop that investigates is described as a loner, not a lot of police support is visible. The author can't resist adding a couple of explicit sex scenes. The story is a bit convoluted and the ending is not at all satisfying. A lot of loose ends are untied, and I was left by the impression, that the real bad guys will not even get pursued. Overall, the story is a bit too macho for my taste.

It's interesting to read about the Brazilian culture. Especially the lack of referring or even mentioning the race, skin color, etc. of the protagonists is very different from what I experience reading US-American mysteries. That reminds me of a former colleague from Peru, who said once that the black population in Peru is declining. He was then asked whether it's because they leave. He said: Quite the contrary, they mix.

One thing kind of puzzled me in a historical sense: Everybody in the book depends on telephone land lines. Cell phones don't seem to exist, not even for the wealthy bad guys. The novel was published in 2002, so I guess, it was written about 2001/2000.  I didn't know that many people in the US with cell phones at the time, but they were a lot more common already in Europe.

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