cover image A WINDOW IN COPACABANA: An Inspector Espinosa Mystery

A WINDOW IN COPACABANA: An Inspector Espinosa Mystery

Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza, Luis Garcia-Roza, , trans. from the Portuguese by Benjamin Moser. . Holt, $23 (256pp) ISBN 978-0-8050-7438-3

When three cops are found shot in the head in separate incidents in Garcia-Roza's sultry fourth Brazilian noir (after 2004's Southwesterly Wind ), the chief of Rio's 12th precinct, Inspector Espinosa, suspects a single gunman. There are no witnesses, but from her dressing room window, Serena, a government official's elegant wife, sees a purse flung from a window across the street, soon followed by a woman who falls 10 stories to her death. The apparent suicide victim is identified as Celeste, the mistress of one of the murdered policemen. Obsessed with the dead woman, and having money and time, Serena rents Celeste's apartment in an effort to figure out why the tragedy occurred. Meanwhile, Espinosa sets up a special confidential task force reporting to him alone to investigate the crimes. The task force points to corruption in the police department and a coverup, since the three cops all led double lives, but what was at stake? For the mordantly witty, book-loving Espinosa, integrity is paramount. If his involvement leads to inevitable loss, he has the consolation of another job well done. Fans of sophisticated crime fiction with an exotic locale are in for a treat. Agent, Heather Schroder at ICM. (Jan. 10)