Translated by Peter Bush
A Mario Conde Mystery
The brutally mutilated body of Miguel Forcade is discovered washed up on a Havana beach. Head smashed in by a baseball bat, genitals cut off by a blunt knife. Forcade was once responsible for confiscating art works from the bourgeoisie fleeing the revolution. Had he really returned from exile just to visit his ailing father?
Lieutenant Mario Conde immerses himself in Cuba's dark history, expropriations of priceless paintings now vanished without trace, corruption and old families who appear to have lost much, but not everything.
Padura evokes the disillusionment of a generation who embraced the revolutionary cause and now struggles to survive in a decaying city threatened by hurricane Felix. Yet this novel is a eulogy to Cuba, to its music and sensuality, and to the great friendships of those who chose to stay and fight for survival.