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Havana Blue (Mario Conde Mystery 3) (Mario Conde Investigates)

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These novels are about the transcendental life of the imagination as well as death and detection; it is this that makes them such distinctive reading. One of the attractions of this novel is that the investigation forces detective Mario Conde into remembering a long period of his life in high school when he fell in love for the first time. Using laser technology, the initials are subtly engraved on the left lens of the sunglasses and on the inner tips of the optical glasses. things were especially tough in Cuba during the collapse of the subsidies from the Soviet Union so no doubt the author had to be circumspect. Since the book is about Cuba, we have cigars, food, some music, rum and cheap wine, drinking and hangovers.

Though mostly told in the third person, it's Mario's vacillation between attention to the case at hand and meditation on his disastrous personal life (and his attention to a small circle of old friends) that form the structure and the surface of the story. Each saucer-shaped blue bloom has a network of magenta coloured veins, which radiate out from the near-white centre.Set in Havana the story takes for granted the corruption, control and massive disparities in wealth that make up the country, as Conde battles to find the truth about the comrade hero who may not be all he appeared to be. features a political smoke-and-mirrors mystery wrapped in a dusky narrative of grim, sophisticated humor. The rich characterizations and bittersweet remembrances of the good old days, 20 years before, play as great a role in the book as the investigation of a missing man. His Havana series crime novels featuring the detective Mario Conde, published in English by Bitter Lemon Press, have been translated into many languages and have won literary prizes around the world.

Havana’s bold, provocative approach to art, cuisine and entertainment—as well as the eclectic blend of African, French, Spanish and North American influences—including its range of architecture styles from the sixteenth century to the modern day, confer this epic city with a legendary status on par with the world’s greatest cities.

Certainly he's sick of hearing everyone sing Rafael's praises, as he goes on interviews seeking a clue to the disappearance. But Havana Blue seems even more melancholy (though Mario gets the girl, in a sense) and more critical (if I'm not forgetting some of the critical edge of the books translated earlier). Another great read from an author who brings to life his less-than-heroic characters and also the country they live in.

The story concerns the disappearance of a businessman (actually, someone in a Government ministry, since this is Cuba). Though it's the middle of a weekend, he is asked to urgently investigate the mysterious disappearance of Rafael Morin, a high-level business manager in the Cuban nomenklatura. Simply enter how many square metres you’ll need and we’ll tell you how many boxes are required to cover this area. He was at high-school with the man but, more importantly, had lusted after Tamara, the girl who married Morin. Conde and the city of Havana share star status, both lovingly portrayed, both fraying at the edges, both prone to depression, yet full of joy.Anti-hero, Lieutenant Mario Conde of the Havana Police Department, known as "the Count," is suffering from a terrible New Year's Eve hangover.

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