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By Leonardo Padura

“The best crime-fiction author within the Spanish language...”--The London Times

“Full of surroundings and outlines to take pleasure in, this is often as a lot a life-affirming tribute to Havana as a superb novel of demise and detection.”--The Independent

“Police paintings isn't in simple terms a vocation yet a metaphor for a futile craving to unravel the island’s private crimes and misdemeanours.”--Times Literary Supplement

Mario Conde has retired from the police strength and makes a residing buying and selling in vintage books. Havana is now flooded with cash, populated via pimps, prostitutes, drug purchasers, and different hunters of the evening. within the e-book choice of a wealthy Cuban who fled after the autumn of Batista, Conde discovers a piece of writing approximately Violeta del Rio, a stunning bolero singer of the Nineteen Fifties who disappeared mysteriously. A homicide quickly follows. this can be a crime tale set in today’s darker Cuba, however it is additionally an evocation of the Havana of Batista, town of 100 evening golf equipment the place the trails of Marlon Brando and Meyer Lansky crossed.

Probably Leonardo Padura’s most sensible booklet, Havana Fever is many stuff: a suspenseful crime novel, a merciless kinfolk saga, and an ode to literature and his liked, ravaged island.

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It’s Mummy. Our Mother,” she defined. “She agreed to appear after those books years in the past . . . ” The count number felt he was once treading on more often than not swampy floor, yet with out selection yet to press on. “And your Mother?. . . ” “She’s nonetheless alive. She’ll be ninety-one this yr. And the negative factor is . . . ” Conde didn’t dare stick with it: the 1st a part of the confession was once on its means and he waited in silence. the remaining could come of its personal accord. “The outdated girl’s earlier it . . . she’s been a package deal of nerves for a very long time. And if truth be told we want a few money,” spat Dionisio waving on the books. “You be aware of what issues are like nowadays, the pension is going nowhere . . . ” Conde nodded: sure, he did learn about that. His eyes the man’s hand in the direction of the cabinets full of books and he felt the stoop that he was once at the verge of whatever vast, nonetheless there, rudely pricking him lower than the nipple, making his fingers sweat. He puzzled why it hadn’t long gone away. He knew he used to be surrounded through priceless books, so why may still the alarm-call nonetheless sound so loudly? may possibly or not it's there has been a e-book that was once an excessive amount of to pray for? That needs to be it, he advised himself, and if that have been real it should purely cease while he’d inspected each shelf from most sensible to backside. “I’ve no desire to pry, yet . . . but if was once the final time someone touched this library? ” he requested. “Forty . . . Forty-three years ago,” the girl responded and the count number shook his head incredulously. “Hasn’t a unmarried publication left right here in all that point? ” “Not one,” interjected Dionisio, convinced he was once upping the worth of the library’s contents through making this type of assertion. “Mummy requested us to air it as soon as a month and fresh it with a feather duster, simply alongside the tops . . . ” “Look, I’ll be frank with you,” Mario Conde determined to factor a caution, conscious he used to be approximately to betray the main hallowed ideas of his career: “I have a stoop, in a way of talking. I’m particularly convinced there are books right here worthy lots of cash, and others so priceless that they can’t or shouldn’t be bought . . . If i would clarify myself: there might be books, quite Cuban books, that shouldn’t go away Cuba and virtually not anyone in Cuba has the money to pay out what they’re worth. The nationwide Library, for a begin. And what I’m telling you presently is going opposed to my very own company pursuits, yet i think it might be a criminal offense to promote them to a foreigner who’d in basic terms take them in a foreign country . . . and that i say against the law since it will be greater than unforgivable, it might be a legal, and that’s the least of it. If we will be able to agree phrases, we will be able to do enterprise with the saleable books, and when you then choose to promote the extra beneficial books, I’ll get from your method and . . . ” Dionisio stared on the count number with unforeseen depth. “What did you are saying your identify was?. . . ” “Mario Conde. ” “Mario Conde,” he chewed at the identify slowly, as though extracting from the letters an injection of dignity his blood sorely wanted. “Standing the place one can find us now, my sister and i've particularly run ourselves into the floor over this state, in a huge method.

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