Excerpt from A Window in Copacabana by Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

A Window in Copacabana

Inspector Espinosa Series

by Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza

A Window in Copacabana by Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza X
A Window in Copacabana by Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2005, 243 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2006, 272 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

1

At the end of the afternoon, the big digital clock on the corner announced that it was one hundred degrees. Day or night, it was all the same, and inside the car it was invariably sweltering. For hours, they'd been inhaling a nauseating mixture of odors: sweat, half-eaten sandwiches, and bus exhaust. It didn't matter whether they drove faster or slowed down; in the middle of rush hour, the air entering through the window didn't camouflage the stench or take the edge off the heat. The wet burden of sweat clung to the body like the cold skin of a reptile. They were almost happy when the call came from an address only a few blocks away.

The building was old and the hallway leading to the elevators had seen its original shops divided into little stalls, where unkempt entrepreneurs sold bric-a-brac and offered their services as plumbers, gas repairmen, electricians, manicurists, tailors, or card readers. Even though the building was located on a busy section of the Avenida Copacabana, the stalls inside were almost exclusively patronized by the residents of the more than one hundred apartments in the building itself. Only two of the four elevators worked, and the floor-indicator lights were broken or turned off on both.

They exited on the tenth floor and went down one flight of stairs. They didn't want to be surprised. They didn't know exactly what they were protecting themselves against, but they'd learned to be careful. The man in front moved slowly down the dark hallway, eyes focused on the strip of light emerging from the door to apartment 910. One of his hands aimed his gun at the ceiling and the other felt the way along the wall. A voice emerged from the half-opened door, but the breathing of his colleague just behind him obscured the words. The call had mentioned murder with a firearm. He thought about how well those words applied to his everyday life. Ever since he'd been sent back to regular duty, he'd seen nothing but violence, and murder with a firearm wasn't even the worst of it. In the little training he'd had before hitting the street, they hadn't allowed him to fire more than half a dozen times -- to save ammo, they'd said -- but the training had included something they called psychological preparation. The girl who taught the classes used the word "psychology" like she used lipstick: to pretty up her mouth. The kid didn't know anything about psychology, but he did understand violence. He'd lived with it since the day he was born. His twenty-two years of life, all spent in the favela, had accustomed him to all kinds of violence, from criminals and drug runners as well as from the police force itself. He'd moved out less than a month before. Cops were being killed; the precinct had, in fact, taken him out of there. Slums were no place for a policeman. There, the law of God was the only law above the drug dealers.

Now he was less than two feet from the door and he could hear a man's crackly voice, the tone never varying, like a child reciting a lesson to his teacher. He felt the sweat running down his neck: sweat from nerves, not heat. He didn't hear any other voice; maybe the man was talking on the phone. The door was only slightly ajar, and before he stuck his head into the light, he cupped his hand around his ear to listen more closely. Behind his back, he pushed away his partner -- the breathing was too loud. He risked a quick glance. He could see only a small corner of the living room. On his first try he made out part of a wall, the end of a small table, and something that looked like an old man in a wheelchair. He waited a few seconds and looked again. The old man was still talking. It was indeed a wheelchair, and he wasn't talking on the phone but with someone sitting in front of him, outside the policeman's field of vision. He made a sign to his partner and pushed open the door, hoping that it wouldn't make a sound. The few inches yielded a wider opening into the room. Now he had an unobstructed view of the old man and the wheelchair, but he still couldn't see his audience. He knocked softly on the door with his knuckle. The old man didn't move or change his tone of voice; he just kept talking. The old man was, in fact, talking to someone seated on the sofa. The other man's shirt was stained red.

From A Window in Copacabana by Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza. Copyright 2001 Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza. Originally published in Brazil in 2001 under the title Uma Janela em Copacabana. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher, Henry Holt & Company.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more


Today's Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman
    The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman
    by Julietta Henderson
    The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman is the comedic debut novel of writer Julietta Henderson. It ...
  • Book Jacket: In Search of a Kingdom
    In Search of a Kingdom
    by Laurence Bergreen
    The Age of Exploration in the early modern period, lasting roughly from the 15th through 16th ...
  • Book Jacket: Under a White Sky
    Under a White Sky
    by Elizabeth Kolbert
    You can never go back home...so the saying goes. According to Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer ...
  • Book Jacket: The Barbizon
    The Barbizon
    by Paulina Bren
    Esteemed historian and Vassar professor Paulina Bren brings the legendary Barbizon Hotel to life on ...

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Girl in His Shadow
by Audrey Blake
The story of one woman who believed in scientific medicine before the world believed in her.

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Ariadne
    by Jennifer Saint

    A mesmerizing debut novel about Ariadne, Princess of Crete for fans of Madeline Miller's Circe.

  • Book Jacket

    Crossing the River
    by Carol Smith

    A powerful exploration of grief that combines memoir, reportage, and lessons in how to heal.

Who Said...

If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people... but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A S I T closet

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.