Grab a Snake by the Tail: A Murder in Havana's Chinatown
Mario Conde investigates a murder in the Barrio Chino, the rundown Chinatown of Havana. Not his usual beat, but when Conde was asked to take the case by his colleague, the sultry, perfectly proportioned Lieutenant Patricia Chion, a frequent object of his nightly fantasies, he could n't resist. The case proves to be unusual. Pedro Cuang, a lonely old man, is found hanging naked from a beam in the ceiling of his dingy room. One of his fingers has been amputated and a drawing of two arrows was engraved with a knife on his chest. Was this a ritual Santería killing or a just a sordid settling of accounts in a world of drug trafficking that began to infiltrate Cuban society in the 1980s? Soon Conde discovers unexpected connections, secret businesses and a history of misfortune, uprooting and loneliness that affected many immigrant families from China. As ever with Padura, the story is soaked in atmosphere: the drinking of rum in deliciously smoke-filled bars, the friendships, the food and beautiful women.
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