Magazine article New Internationalist

The Body Snatcher

Magazine article New Internationalist

The Body Snatcher

Article excerpt

The Body Snatcher by Patrícia Melo translated by Clifford E Landers (Bitter Lemon Press, ISBN 978 19085 24539)

The set-up of The Body Snatcher is not particularly original: aimless drifter lucks upon valuable item, disastrous consequences ensue. Of course, what the author does with this hackneyed theme is all-important and, fortunately, Brazilian crime writer Patrícia Melo has given us a tale that positively drips with atmosphere and menace.

The story is set in Corumbá on the Brazilian-Bolivian border and, within the first few pages, our narrator - hero is certainly not appropriate - has been the sole witness to a fatal plane crash and has helped himself to a kilo of cocaine from the plane as well as the dead pilot's watch and rucksack. Predictably, his attempts to sell the drugs and finagle the situation to his advantage lead him into murky moral territory. …

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