São Paulo Noir

Edited by Tony Bellotto, trans. from the Portuguese by Clifford E. Landers. Akashic, $15.95 trade paper, (272p) ISBN 978-1-61775-531-6
Bellotto, who edited the strong Rio Noir (2016), doesn’t fare as well with this anthology featuring Brazil’s largest city. That one of the 13 stories stretches “noir” beyond reason doesn’t help: Jô Soares eats up a lot of space with “My Name Is Nicky Nicola,” which features a bumbling detective much like farcical French detective Jacques Clouseau. Better is Fernando Bonassi’s “24-Hour Service,” in which a senator’s son’s screwup leads the senator to call the governor, who calls someone else, and so forth down the line until a minor functionary gets a call at 3:10 a.m. and begins the arduous task of cleaning up the son’s mess. A hotel maid is a razor-sharp detective in Vanessa Barbara’s brief and effective “Cross Contamination.” An obese woman hits on several unusual weight-loss regimens in Mario Prata’s darkly humorous “Teresão.” A poor young girl’s luck seems as bad and as lurid as Candide’s in Drauzio Varella’s “Margot,” but a knife can solve a lot of problems. This entry ranks as only a fair addition to Akashic’s acclaimed noir series. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/30/2018
Release date: 06/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
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