Adios Muchachosby Daniel Chavarria
Following the success of Outcast by Jose Latour, Akashic presents the second in a line of Cuban noir, straight outta Havana. The first suspense novel in English translation by internationally acclaimed Uruguayan mystery writer Daniel Chavarría, Adios Muchachos is a dark, erotic, brutally funny romp through the sexual underworld and black-market boardrooms of post–Cold War Cuba. Seen through Chavarría's compassionate but uncompromising eyes, present-day Havana is a crossroads for petty hustlers looking for an easy mark, two-time losers looking for a fresh start, and high-rolling international speculators looking to take advantage of them all.
The novel describes the ill-fated alliance between Alicia, a stunningly beautiful prostitute who openly displays her voluptuous wares by bicycle on the city streets, and Victor King, a desperately ambitious Canadian businessman with an enormous appetite for kinky sex and buried treasure and a striking resemblance to Mel Gibson.
Following an early erotic entanglement of their own, Victor hires Alicia to lure a series of handsome lovers into the bedroom of his estate for the voyeuristic gratification of his mysterious wife, Elizabeth, who watches the action with her husband through a two-way mirror. After a sultry drunken dance results in the accidental death of Victor’s wealthy Dutch business partner, Rieks Groote, Victor sees his ambitions for wealth suddenly go up in smoke and Alicia faces the end to her dreams of escaping her dreary, dead-end life on the island.
Hustlers all the way, the two quickly decide to turn disaster into opportunity, hiding the body in a freezer and hatching an elaborate kidnapping scheme that will allow them to steal millions of dollars from the Groote family and start a new life together off the island. Through a series of startling plot twists and slapstick misadventures, Victor and Alicia find themselves unwittingly manipulated and ultimately outmaneuvered by a sympathetic fellow hustler. In the end, everything revolves around the secret ingredient to an old family recipe and a long-overdue nose job as only one of the novel’s characters is able to make off with the loot and bid adios to Cuba and the past.
Read an Excerpt
When Alicia decided to become a bicycle hooker, her mother agreed to sell a ring that had been in the family for five generations. She got $350 for it, and for $280 they bought an English mountain-bike, one of those with wide tires and lots of speeds, on which Alicia launched her hunt for moneyed foreigners.
It was not until two months later, however, that Alicia perfected her technique. She got rid of the English bike, for which she got $120 and a heavy old Chinese bike on which she developed her "lost pedal" routine. That was when her real success began.
The hoax was conceived and executed in the inner courtyard of an old building on Amargura Street. The author was Pepone, a bicycle genius who specialized in SUBSTITUTIVE CYCLOMECHANICS, according to the sheet of aluminum lettered in red lead hanging at the entrance to the tenement to advertise his craft.
For two bottles of aguardiente rum, Pepone fixed the locknut on the pedal with a lynchpin which Alicia could easily remove. All she had to do was lean over a little, without stopping her pedaling, and, with a slight tug, bring about, whenever she felt like it, the spectacular loss of a pedal.
The next step in her routine was to clamp on the brakes, which sent her flying into a face-down (ass up) landing on the pavement. With a good pair of gloves and a lot of practice, Alicia had the fall down to a science and was ultimately able to get through it without a scratch.
The accident would always take place about sixty yards in front of some expensive car whose foreign driver had already been put into a trance by the rhythmic gyrations of that—oh so maximus!—gluteus churning on the seat she had purposely set much too high on the frame.
It was simple. Whenever a car that would normally have passed her actually reduced speed and fell in behind, that was a sure sign that the fish was on the hook.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Excellent book that is not, like most mystery novels, a hit and miss; it's worth the money. Some really good chartacters (prostitute and Victor King are the best 2 paired characters i've seen in a long time) and a flawless, timeless setting. (CUBA)I gave 4 out of five stars because I enjoy long books; this as bn.com indicates, is only 150pp.