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5.0 1
by Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza, Benjamin Moser (Translator)

When his daughter disappears and a patient emerges as the prime suspect, a troubled psychiatrist comes to Espinosa for help, in the fifth novel in the beguiling Brazilian crime series

A hospital psychiatrist feels he's being stalked by a young patient. For as long as possible, he convinces himself that the young man is harmless, but when the doctor's


When his daughter disappears and a patient emerges as the prime suspect, a troubled psychiatrist comes to Espinosa for help, in the fifth novel in the beguiling Brazilian crime series

A hospital psychiatrist feels he's being stalked by a young patient. For as long as possible, he convinces himself that the young man is harmless, but when the doctor's daughter disappears and the patient goes missing, too, he calls on Espinosa for help. Soon after, the patient turns up dead.

With his death begins a chain of other deaths, each more mysterious than the one that preceded it, each seemingly linked to the doctor and his former patient. As Espinosa learns more about the doctor's history, it becomes harder to discern the stalker from the stalked, reality from fantasy, and the sane from the diabolical. In this installment of the "seductive, fascinating" (The New York Times Book Review) series, the sultry maze of Rio de Janeiro's streets conspires against Espinosa, confounding his judgment, stymieing his search, and, somewhere, concealing a murderer.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Who wouldn't want to read about a sympathetic, sensitive and literate cop who really wants to open a used-book store?"

—Bloomberg News

"With his existential sensibility, his exotic beat, and his literary merit, [Espinosa] seems poised to join the ranks of the great modern international fictional cops."

San Francisco Chronicle

"It's taken until now for a writer to come along to do for the corruption of Brazil's Rio de Janeiro what Chandler did for Los Angeles." —The Observer

"This is entertainment of a high order, sly and smart."

The Washington Post Book World

"Garcia-Roza is an academic in the tradition of Alexander McCall Smith, but . . . he's tougher and more sardonic." —Chicago Tribune

Product Details

Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
Inspector Espinosa Mysteries Series
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.46(h) x 0.95(d)

Read an Excerpt


On that hot December afternoon, his long strides and fixed stare didn't make it any easier to weave through all the pedestrians. To avoid bumping into people, and to maintain his steady rhythm, Espinosa found himself walking long stretches with one foot on the curb and the other in the street. He wasn't late for anything and he wasn't heading anywhere in particular. On the Rua da Quitanda, he had planned to turn onto the Rua do Carmo in order to check out the used-book store he'd visited since his law school days. But at the quick pace he was going, the Rua do Carmo and the bookstore were forgotten. Whenever possible, Espinosa took advantage of quiet afternoons at the station to examine a new bookstore or revisit one of his old haunts in the colonial buildings downtown. That was when he was working, but this afternoon he was just trying to enjoy one of his last days of vacation. The previous days hadn't differed much from the one that was already halfway over.

Things had started going south a week before the beginning of his vacation, when Irene had received an invitation to a two-week seminar at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It came, out of the blue, from the museum itself, extended to foreign professionals who had distinguished themselves in some way over the last few years. So their own holiday, a trip to a beach in the Northeast, had had no choice but to relocate to Rio, which, after all, had beaches too. Great for Irene, a disaster for him. Great, too, for highlighting the difference between a graphic designer and a police chief, he thought, picking up the pace even more.

He'd been wandering through the downtown streets for almost two hours. In one of his hands he carried a small bag with two books he'd bought that afternoon, but he no longer remembered their titles, or even where he'd bought them. He didn't have much interest either in the snack he'd planned to enjoy at the Confeitaria Colombo. It was Thursday and he didn't have to be back at work until Monday. He headed to the nearest subway station and returned home.

The phone rang for the first time at seven-twenty that evening. Over the next fifteen minutes, it rang twice more. But nobody spoke on the other end of the line. Espinosa hesitated before picking up the fourth time, and when he did he met the same silence he'd encountered the first three times. He was about to hang up when he heard a man's voice.

"Chief Espinosa?"


"I'm sorry to be calling you at home, but at the station they said you were on vacation."

"That's true."

"My name is Artur Nesse. I'm a doctor. . . . A colleague at the hospital gave me your name. . . . You helped him . . ."

". . . and now you need my help."

"Right. . . . Well, not me, exactly . . . somebody else. . . . But I really don't know what to do. Excuse me, Officer, I'm feeling really confused."

"I'm going back to work on Monday. Why don't you come by then to tell me what's going on?"

"I can't wait until then. . . . It's urgent. . . . It's my daughter . . ."

"What happened to your daughter?"

"She disappeared . . . kidnapped."

"She disappeared or she was kidnapped?"

"First she disappeared, then I saw she'd been kidnapped."

"And how did you see she'd been kidnapped?"

"Well . . . it's obvious."

"How long ago did she disappear?"

"One day. A day and a night."

"How old is your daughter?"


"Have you had any contact with her since she disappeared?"

"No, none."

"So how do you know that she was kidnapped?"

"Because there's no other explanation."

"Have you already informed the kidnapping police?"

"No! I don't want my daughter mixed up with the police."

"Do you want her involved with kidnappers?"

"Can we speak personally?"

"We already are speaking personally."

"I mean face-to-face. They told me you're a considerate man."

"I am, but my consideration makes me reluctant to believe that your daughter's been kidnapped."

"Why do you think that?"

"Because if you thought your daughter had been kidnapped, you wouldn't be doing this. Maybe your daughter ran away from home."

"I'd like you to take on the case."

"Dr. Nesse, I'm a police officer, not a private investigator. If you want a private investigation, you should get in touch with a detective agency."

"Could we at least talk about the case? It's not just my daughter's disappearance. There are other things as well."

"Fine. I'll expect you in half an hour in the square in the Peixoto District, in Copacabana. Take down the address."

At that hour, the square was empty: the people who hung out there in the afternoon had left and the square had not received the contingent of people who arrived after dinner and the evening news. After waiting for fifteen minutes in the doorway of his building, Espinosa noticed a car making the whole loop around the square. It was a fancy imported sedan, seemingly new, its dark color shining beneath the reflections of the streetlights. The driver didn't look at the buildings, as if searching for a specific address, nor did he seem to be seeking out a specific person. On the second trip around the square he found a good parking place. Only then did he park, lock the door, circle the car once, and move off, looking at the buildings and a piece of paper he had in his hand.

Espinosa waited until the man was close to him before speaking.

"Dr. Nesse? I'm Chief Espinosa."

"Oh, sir, I was just looking for your building."

They shook hands. Dr. Nesse was only a little taller than Espinosa, but he seemed twice as large.

They walked across the street slowly and silently, looking for an isolated bench.

"So, Doctor, what happened?"

Copyright © 2003 by Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza

Translation copyright © 2006 by Henry Holt and Company

Meet the Author

A distinguished academic, Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza is a bestselling novelist who lives in Rio de Janeiro. The Espinosa mysteries have been translated into six languages. This is the fifth book in the series; the previous four titles—The Silence of the Rain, December Heat, Southwesterly Wind, and A Window in Copacabana—are available in paperback from Picador.

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Pursuit 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Copacabana, Brazil Chief Inspector Espinosa is on vacation when psychiatrist Dr. Arthur Nesse called pleading with him to help because he believes his seventeen years old daughter Leticia was kidnapped by a patient, Isadoro ¿call me Jonas¿ Cruz who previously had been stalking him. Though he knows he should send the good doctor to the police station, Espinosa agrees to do a little investigating as he is bored since his graphic designer wife Irene received the sudden invitation to attend a two-week seminar at New York¿s MOMA. --- However, the prime suspect in at least the psychiatrist¿s mind turns up murdered. Other homicides follow all linked back to Dr. Nesse and Jonas. As Espinosa digs deeper into the backgrounds of Nesse and Jonas, he finds strange information that makes him wonder just who is the paranoid one, the doctor or the patient. The more the Brazilian cop learns, the more he thinks that Nesse stalked Jonas and perhaps killed him and the others. However, proving such a way out theory seems impossible and besides he still must rescue a missing teenager as well as stop the serial killer. --- PURSUIT is a fantastic entry in an excellent police procedural series, one of the best on the market today as the Brazilian flavoring augments a delightful investigation. Espinosa is at his best in this case uncovering clues that make no sense as he, like readers, has stereotyped the psychiatrist and the patients. If he fails to make paradigm switches, he will fail. Fans who have not read the four previous translations of Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza (see THE SILENCE OF THE RAIN) are missing out on the works of a great novelist. --- Harriet Klausner