Havana Blue

Havana Blue

5.0 1
by Leonardo Padura

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A scorching novel from a star of Cuban fiction. The third in the Havana Quartet series.


A scorching novel from a star of Cuban fiction. The third in the Havana Quartet series.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Blending noirish police procedural with vivid images of life in contemporary Cuba, Padura has produced another gem in the third of his Havana Quartet (after Havana Black and Havana Red). Police lieutenant Mario Conde is roused from a post-New Year's Eve hangover by a call from his superior reporting the disappearance of Rafael Morín Rodríguez, a high-level official in the ministry for industry. By chance, Rodríguez and his gorgeous wife, Tamara, were high school classmates of Conde, who carried a torch for Tamara for many years. While she claims to be mystified by her husband vanishing, swearing that he was an honest public servant, Tamara remains high on Conde's list of suspects even as he struggles to master his desire for her. That desire threatens to compromise an already sensitive investigation. Padura's taut writing and lyrical images will impress even newcomers to the series. (June)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Kirkus Reviews
Is foul play involved in the vanishing of a popular Cuban politician, or is it another kind of crime?Havana police lieutenant Mario Conde awakes on January 1, 1989, with a pounding New Year's Eve hangover and an uncomfortable assignment: the reported disappearance of Rafael Mor'n Rodr'guez, a charismatic and influential politico in Cuba's ruling nomenklatura. Rafael was last seen dancing with his trophy wife Tamara at a festive party. Conde's discomfort stems from the fact that Tamara was the girl of his dreams. In fact, he's never really gotten over her. Every stage of the probe is punctuated by nostalgic flashbacks-back in the day, Conde and his best friend Skinny Carlos hopelessly loved Tamara and her sister Aymara-followed by Conde's self-recrimination over his current mediocrity. Tamara, at first evasive and unable to name any possible enemies of her husband, suddenly finds an address book full of potential leads. But Conde and his partner, oversexed sergeant Manuel Palacios, have a hard time following up on them. Everyone in Havana's corridors of power throws smoke and red herrings into their path. A break in the case comes from the unlikely Comrade Fernandez-Lorea, who's "just like Al Pacino."Padura's first Conde novel, though the third translated into English (Havana Black, 2006, etc.), features a political smoke-and-mirrors mystery wrapped in a dusky narrative of grim, sophisticated humor.

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Bitter Lemon Press, Ltd
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Meet the Author

Leonardo Padura was born in 1955 in Havana and lives in Cuba. He has published a number of novels, short story collections and literary essays but international fame came with the Havana Quartet, all featuring Inspector Mario Conde, of which Havana Blue is the third to be available in English Critically acclaimed translator known for extensive work on Juan Goytisolo. Also translated Daniel Chavarria and Pedro de Alarcon from Cuba.

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Havana Blue 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Havana police lieutenant Mario Conde enjoyed the New Year's Eve celebration but he drank too much as he expected the day off to recover. Instead in spite of a four poster headache, his superior calls to tell him that Ministry for Industry official and party VIP Rafael Morin Rodriguez vanished.----------------- Mario knew Rafael and the man¿s wife Tamara when the trio attended high school together and the cop was in unrequited puppy love for her. Hangover aside, Mario interviews Tamara, who offers nothing about what happened or why instead she insists her loving spouse is an honest civil servant working for the benefit of the people. Although he prefers otherwise, Mario assumes either Rafael is dead or fled before a scandal destroyed him either way the case has political ramifications that he knows he must gingerly walk carefully. However, the biggest issue in Mario¿s mind is not those looking at his every step in the investigation, but that the prime suspect is Tamara, who he still wants.------------------- The third colorful Havana police procedural (see HAVANA BLACK and HAVANA RED) is a terrific whodunit starring a likable dedicated cop trying to investigate a maybe crime in a totalitarian society where he can easily follow a clue across a forbidden zone. Mario¿s investigation is top rate as he struggles with his feelings for the prime suspect and has even more trouble dealing with officialdom as the potential victim is a highly ranked bureaucrat. Readers will appreciate Leonardo Padura¿s tense Cuban mystery starring a great detective in a superior tale.------ Harriet Klausner