The Body Snatcher

Patrícia Melo, trans. from the Portuguese by Clifford E. Landers. Bitter Lemon, $14.95 trade paper (220p) ISBN 978-1-908524-53-9
Melo (The Killer) brings a distinctly Brazilian twist to the classic noir formula. Her unnamed narrator, a former telemarketer recently fired from his job in São Paolo, lives in a small town by the Bolivian border. As he’s fishing in a river one day, he witnesses a small plane crash into the water. Too late to save the dying pilot, he grabs the man’s backpack and runs. Of course, this is the first in a downward spiral of bad decisions, as the bag is full of cocaine. Guided by a dark inner voice, the hapless protagonist decides to sell the drugs, which soon gets him in over his head. Then he somehow ends up working for the dead pilot’s family as a driver. Assisted by his girlfriend, a local police officer working at the morgue, they hatch upon a macabre plan that they hope will extricate them from the mess with a tidy profit. The sly, existential narrative provides a revealing look at contemporary Brazil, police corruption, and the shadow side of man’s psyche. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/20/2015
Release date: 09/01/2015
Genre: Fiction
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