December Heat

Overview

A Rio de Janeiro Thriller

A retired policeman spends a typically alcohol-filled evening with his girlfriend, a prostitute. When he wakes up the next morning, his wallet and car key are missing, his girlfriend has been murdered, and he can remember none of the events of the previous night. Inspector Espinosa, veteran detective and friend of the ex-cop, is convinced there's more here than meets the eye, and when other bodies begin turning up, he ...

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December Heat: An Inspector Espinosa Mystery

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Overview

A Rio de Janeiro Thriller

A retired policeman spends a typically alcohol-filled evening with his girlfriend, a prostitute. When he wakes up the next morning, his wallet and car key are missing, his girlfriend has been murdered, and he can remember none of the events of the previous night. Inspector Espinosa, veteran detective and friend of the ex-cop, is convinced there's more here than meets the eye, and when other bodies begin turning up, he finds himself not only racing after a killer but falling in love.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"If Gabriel García Márquez wrote crime fiction, he might create a detective like Inspector Espinosa." —The Baltimore Sun
The New York Times
… if his procedures seem arbitrary, [Espinoza's] sensibility is refreshing as he walks his beat, glorying in the ocean view from the Avenida Atlantica. — Marilyn Stasio
Publishers Weekly
In Brazilian Garcia-Roza's second meandering mystery to feature Inspector Espinosa (after 2002's The Silence of the Rain), an old friend, retired officer Vieira, calls on the taciturn Rio de Janeiro cop for help. Vieira has been tied-literally, in a sense-to the murder of a prostitute named Magali, found suffocated, her head in a plastic bag and her feet tied with Vieira's belt. Vieira doesn't deny that he spent time with Magali, but he was too drunk on the night in question to remember a thing. Another prostitute, Flor, decides to look after Vieira after he's brutally attacked, though that such a woman would commit herself to an old policeman on a pension is unconvincing. Espinosa starts tracking down leads, including a street kid who might have stolen Vieira's wallet. One boy living on the streets is set on fire; another has his head bashed in. It's clear that someone is desperate, but who and why remain unanswered questions. Meanwhile, Espinosa meets an attractive artist, Kika, and he struggles over the difference in their ages. Several beautiful literary turns of phrase are nearly lost in the extensive mechanical descriptions. The befuddling, sluggish plot, however, does finally stumble into an exciting ending. (June 9) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Steamy Brazilian heat, colorful Rio de Janeiro streets, and personal calamities surround Inspector Espinosa's (The Silence of the Rain) latest case-that of a murdered prostitute. The prime suspect, an alcoholic ex-cop who remembers nothing of the night in question, is a friend of Espinosa's, so they both search for an incriminating lost wallet. After a street kid comes forward with possibly useful information, another homeless boy is murdered by mistake. Espinosa readily connects the two murders as the action and tension quicken. An exciting procedural, infused with exotic ambience, sympathetic detectives, and a little romance. Strongly recommended for most collections, especially where readers like their mysteries in foreign settings. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
An aptly titled second installment in Garcia-Roza's melancholy, surrealist trilogy about the cases of Rio de Janeiro's Inspector Espinosa (The Silence of the Rain, 2002). Since retiring from the police, Vieira Cris-stomo has continued to be a man of habits. Every Wednesday afternoon and every Friday night, he visits his favorite prostitute/companion Magali; Sunday nights he entertains her at his place. One Saturday afternoon he wakes up without his wallet and car keys, unsure what happened the night before. When he goes to Magali's apartment to ask her, she doesn't answer the door because she's dead inside, naked and tied to the bed with Vieira's own belt. And that's only the beginning of a series of outrages so baffling-both the street kid who saw a man walk off with Vieira's wallet and another kid mistaken for him will be killed; so will an inoffensive street teacher; Vieira will be beaten and two other characters tied up in separate incidents in Espinosa's apartment-and felicities so unexpected themselves-Vieira will inherit the services of Magali's best friend Florinda, and Espinosa will attract the tender attention of Kika, a street painter-that the main question Garcia-Roza explores is not who's behind the puzzling blessings and bashings but why they've been showered on this pair of respected older men. Garcia-Roza's playful gravity, at once elegiac and laid-back, may put you in such a mystified mood that you'll forget you're reading a mystery.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312423438
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Publication date: 3/28/2004
  • Series: Inspector Espinosa Mysteries Series , #2
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 991,570
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

A distinguished academic, Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza is a critically acclaimed, bestselling novelist who lives in Rio de Janeiro. The next book in the Espinosa series, Southwesterly Wind, is forthcoming from Henry Holt.

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Table of Contents

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