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The Silence of the Rain: An Inspector…
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The Silence of the Rain: An Inspector Espinosa Mystery (2002)

by L. A. García-Roza

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English (6)  French (1)  All languages (7)
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In a parking garage in the center of Rio de Janeiro, corporate executive Ricardo Carvalho is found dead in his car, a bullet in his head, his wallet and briefcase missing. Inspector Espinosa is called in to investigate the apparent robbery and murder, but the world-weary Espinosa knows that things are not always as they seem. Carvalho’s recently acquired one-million-dollar life insurance policy and the subsequent disappearance of his secretary Rose complicate matters—as does Espinosa’s attraction to Carvalho’s beautiful widow, one of the suspects. And when two more people turn up dead, Espinosa must speed up his investigation before anyone else becomes a casualty.

Inspector Espinosa is an interesting character, in his mid forties, a failed marriage behind him, a bit old fashioned, a book collector and reader of English classics, and to my mind at least, a touch of Inspector Clueso about him.

I'm not spilling any beans if I tell you that right from the start the reader knows what has happened in this death. But of course Inspector Espinosa does not have the advantage that we have - we were witnesses at the death scene, for a few moments at least. And so we watch Espinsosa test all sorts of hypotheses and follow false trails. We can only hope, in the words of Sir Thomas More, that when his head has finished turning, it is facing in the right direction, and that he comes to the right conclusion. It is a pity he can't feel us willing him on.

THE SILENCE OF THE RAIN has an interesting structure. In PART I we see Espinosa in the third person. In fact we enter many people's heads in the same way. In PART II Espinosa is in the first person, we actually hear how he thinks. And then in PART III, we see him "from the outside" again.
If you've read this book, how did that strike you?

My rating: 4.5

THE SILENCE OF THE RAIN is the first in Garcia-Roza's Inspector Espinosa series.
I'm certainly interested in reading more, now that I've discovered him.Many thanks to Rob at The View from the Blue House who pointed the way to him in our mutual quest: the 2010 Global Reading Challenge.
It is also interesting to find out that the author was 60 years old when he wrote this first novel. Check an interview with him here. Thanks to Jose Ignacio Escribano of The Game's Afoot for pointing to this article.

In the list below, from Fantastic Fiction, the dates (I think) indicate dates published in English.
1. The Silence of the Rain (2002)
2. December Heat (2003)
3. Southwesterly Wind (2004)
4. A Window in Copacabana (2005)
5. Pursuit (2006)
6. Blackout (2008)
7. Alone in the Crowd (2009) ( )
  smik | May 29, 2010 |
What starts as a workmanlike mystery novel quickly becomes a haunting account centered around Detective Espinosa, a bookish, uncorrupted police veteran. The deceased becomes so in an enigmatic event and the story quickly entwines his secretary Rose, his elegant wife Bia, his somewhat mysterious business colleague Lucena, a street sharp Max, and a handful of other characters each of whom is properly fleshed out and returns to the action often enough to keep them straight. The story seems unsolvable until very late, and while unpredictable, leaves a number of questions outstanding--if having all the loose ends and plot mentions tied up and explained at the end is important, do not read this book. The references to Rio de Janeiro are palatable and not overwhelming--only in one spot does the author annoyingly inventory a series of inscrutable street names for half a page. If anything, the author's juxtaposition of the Detective's personality and wanderings through the city and characters, mixed with the setting, go to pointing to the huge range of unseen lives all being experienced together in a compact geography. ( )
  shawnd | Nov 30, 2009 |
melancholic but good stories, good characters, don't make Rio seem so awful ( )
  fordbarbara | Oct 27, 2008 |
Murder mysteryset in Rio de Janeiro--translated from Portuguese. Interesting, surprising, well written. ( )
  Gary10 | Aug 31, 2008 |
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Espinosa crossed the street slowly, eyes downcast, hands in his pockets, and headed for the plaza.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312421184, Paperback)

In a parking garage in the center of Rio de Janeiro, corporate executive Ricardo Carvalho is found dead in his car, a bullet in his head, his wallet and briefcase missing. Inspector Espinosa is called in to investigate the apparent robbery and murder, but the world-weary Espinosa knows that things are not always as they seem. Carvalho’s recently acquired one-million-dollar life insurance policy and the subsequent disappearance of his secretary Rose complicate matters—as does Espinosa’s attraction to Carvalho’s beautiful widow, one of the suspects. And when two more people turn up dead, Espinosa must speed up his investigation before anyone else becomes a casualty.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:17:34 -0400)

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