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Havana Gold by Leonardo Padura
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I don't know why I went back for more of Cuban detective Mario Conde. The first novel in the series was fine, comfortable to read, but there was little detection or interest to the story. This second installment is similarly introspective in nature, with Conde obsessing over his school days, over his love of the Beatles, over his love life, over his best friend, Flaco. He's a very tormented character but he also seems absurdly insular and self involved. I wonder if the return, once again, to memories of adolescence in this book is a way of finding something politically correct (within Cuba) to criticize and moan about, since criticizing the system itself would not be permissible. This novel is dedicated to Paco Ignacio Taibo, a Mexican novelist who published blistering mysteries that exposed the corruption of Mexican politics and democracy. Padura does not come close. And yet, the dialogue is fun, and there are humorous passages. The novel sounds good, reads well, it's an easy ready. It's not so bad but it's not so good either. ( )
  ChrisConway | May 17, 2012 |
Esta segunda novela que tiene a Mario Conde como protagonista es bastante similar a la primera. En ella el detective rememora de nuevo su tiempo en el preuniversitario, descubre la identidad de un asesino y se ve envuelto en otro amor imposible. Interesante, pero menos que la novela anterior. ( )
  alalba | Aug 31, 2011 |
Som sædvanlig en herlig skildring af Cuba og ikke mindst af Mario Conde og hans problemer med kærlighedslivet og karrieren. ( )
  msc | Sep 4, 2008 |
Something Chandleresque and noir about these detective stories set in Havana's mean but lively streets. Conde, the police detective, has a love hate relationship with his job and his country. Although the detective story has its dark and cynical side it also celebrates sensuality, music and friendship, The narrative is carried along through conversations, some internal. Very evocative of Havana and a good, not too heavy , read. ( )
  CommonReeda | Jun 28, 2008 |
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CRIME & MYSTERY FICTION. Twenty-four year old Lissette Delgado was beaten, raped, and then strangled with a towel. Marijuana is found in her apartment and her wardrobe is suspiciously beyond the means of a high school teacher. Lieutenant Conde is pressured by "the highest authority" to conclude this investigation quickly when chance leads him into the arms of a beautiful redhead, a saxophone player who shares his love for jazz and Japanese fighting fish. This is a Havana of crumbling, grand buildings, secrets hidden behind faded doors and corruption. For an author living in Cuba, Padura is remarkably outspoken about the failings of Castro's regime. Yet this is a eulogy of Cuba, its life of music, sex and the great friendships of those who elected to stay and fight for survival.… (more)

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