Ballad of Dogs' Beach: Dossier of a Crime

Jose Cardoso Pires, Author Beaufort Books $15.95 (181p) ISBN 978-0-8253-0416-3
Based on real events during 1960 in Lisbon, Pires's novel won Portugal's highest literary prize and is being adapted into a film. If it were the ""dossier of a crime,'' as the author calls it, the story would be more accessible to readers of Fitton's translation, which seems a true conveyance of an often obscure original. When Major Castro's corpse is found on Dogs' Beach, Inspector Santana, aptly known as ``Graveyard,'' takes charge of the case. The major's aborted military coup had led to his arrest and his escape from jail with the help of his mistress, alluring Mena, and two ex-army men. The three are captured and subjected to Graveyard's ruthless interrogations. While fixing on Mena as the object of his lurid sexual fantasies, the detective doesn't spare her from repeated, grinding questions that elicit the truth, at last, about a ghastly affair. Allusions to dictator Salazar's secret police are part of a narrative obviously symbolizing the gross corruption afflicting the author's country. (April 24)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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