A Window in Copacabana: An Inspector Espinosa Mystery
ISBN: 031242566X Global Overview for this book
3 journalers for this copy...
Cop killings never fail to excite interest -- especially when, as in A Window in Copacabana, Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza's fourth slow-burning police procedural (after Southwesterly Wind), those murders are committed methodically and surgically, with "no passion, revenge, emotion: cold as ice." As Espinosa, the uncommonly thoughtful chief of Rio de Janeiro's 12th Precinct, postulates, "Whoever killed them was hired by someone. And furthermore, the real criminal is trying to send a message to other potential victims, a message that only they can understand."
It hardly matters that the three deceased officers weren't popular, or even well known. ("They're all cops who never stood out, who lived hidden lives, and who were as invisible and silent as their deaths.") The fact that each succumbed to "a single point-blank shot," coupled with suspicions that their slayings were somehow connected--by drug dealing, perhaps, or a bribery scheme--makes capturing their assassin crucial, not only to civic peacekeeping but to departmental morale. The stakes increase when those cops' mistresses start dropping violently, as well. Someone, it appears, wants to keep a tight lid on information that was shared between the policemen and their paramours. But who? And what, if anything, can be concluded from the subsequent, supposed suicide leap of a woman who was evidently mistaken by the killer for one of the cops' lovers? As Espinosa wades into the morass of avarice and secrecy at the core of this case, and begins to shed his preconceptions about the crimes, he's also distracted by a pair of young lovelies--one, the wife of a high-ranking government economist, obsessed with that dubious suicide; the other, a smart and resourceful ex-cabaret dancer on the run--whose attentions may do as much to foil his investigation as warm his heart.
Brazilian Garcia-Roza is a patient plotter, exposing each new development with the deceptive indifference of an exotic dancer shedding veils, knowing just how to build and maintain anticipation. And in Espinosa he has found his ideal partner in crime, a clever, compassionate, and oddly bookish, 40-something cop reconciled to the manifold disappointments of life and serene in the face of human tragedy. Although this author denies his cops, other than Espinosa, much depth of personality, A Window in Copacabana's Hitchcockian twists, sensual atmosphere, and unwillingness to deliver clichéd "perfect" justice in the end all make it an excellent entry in one of the coolest, most captivating crime series going. -- J. Kingston Pierce
From Publishers Weekly
When three cops are found shot in the head in separate incidents in Garcia-Roza's sultry fourth Brazilian noir (after 2004's Southwesterly Wind), the chief of Rio's 12th precinct, Inspector Espinosa, suspects a single gunman. There are no witnesses, but from her dressing room window, Serena, a government official's elegant wife, sees a purse flung from a window across the street, soon followed by a woman who falls 10 stories to her death. The apparent suicide victim is identified as Celeste, the mistress of one of the murdered policemen. Obsessed with the dead woman, and having money and time, Serena rents Celeste's apartment in an effort to figure out why the tragedy occurred. Meanwhile, Espinosa sets up a special confidential task force reporting to him alone to investigate the crimes. The task force points to corruption in the police department and a coverup, since the three cops all led double lives, but what was at stake? For the mordantly witty, book-loving Espinosa, integrity is paramount. If his involvement leads to inevitable loss, he has the consolation of another job well done. Fans of sophisticated crime fiction with an exotic locale are in for a treat.
This is the second book from Brazil for the challenge A Book from Every Country
This is my # 33 (110) in
"REDUCE MOUNT TBR 2012" Challenge arranged by Dove-i-Libri.
(The parcel arrived partly open :( and in a post office security bag. Don't know if anything was lost, but the book itself arrived safe and sound!)