Saturday, February 18, 2006

A quiet thriller

A psychic at a birthday party tells a young man that he will kill someone before his next birthday. The young man becomes obsessed with the prediction. Weeks before his birthday, as the southwesterly winds of Brazil start to blow, two people linked to him are violently killed. Southwesterly Wind by Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza takes that simple premise and weaves a seductive mystery. I call it a quiet thriller because there are no car chases or bang-bang scenes. The only chases are when a detective (on foot) follows one of the suspects, sometimes for hours at a time. With only three possible suspects, you think you know where the author is headed -- but do you really?

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