Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Garcia-Roza's The Silence of the Rain

I read Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza's The Silence of the Rain. It is a crime/mystery novel set in Rio, with Inspector Espinosa the protagonist. I had an unusual reaction to it--I thought the plot was cool, with plenty of turns and smooth changes of narrator voice. You get into all different parts of Rio, from the working class to the very rich. And Espinosa is an interesting character.

But. The ending sucks. The plot moves moves you right along to...what the hell was that? Are you serious? Also, in mysteries I don't generally expend much brainpower trying to figure out the killer--I just let the story take me there. In this one, I felt like the answer was really obvious, and I was actually going to be surprised if I was wrong. I wasn't.

Nonetheless, I will read more of these novels (this was the first of a trilogy) because that first 99% of it was really good. There is so much commentary as well. Espinosa is always lamenting the fact that forensic tools so common in the United States are simply absent in Brazil or just too expensive, so it is much harder for police to do their work. I also kept thinking that the entire plot would be different if Espinosa just had a cell phone, which I suppose he could not afford. Meanwhile, police corruption hangs over everything. Espinosa is careful about what information he gives fellow officers, who may well not be on his side.


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