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 Crisóstomo 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.