Havana Black: A Lieutenant Mario Conde Mystery
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Praise for Havana Red, the first of the Lt. Conde series:
“Another winner from Bitter Lemon…an innovative take on the traditional detective story. A macho cop whose investigation into the murder of a transvestite leads him to ruminate on his own attraction to this ‘philosophy of mimetics and erasure.’"—The New York Times
“A scorching novel from a star of Cuban fiction. Conde’s quest follows the basic rhythm of the whodunit, but Padura syncopates it with brilliant literary riffs on Cuban sex, society, religion, even food.”—Independent
The brutally mutilated body of Miguel Forcade is discovered washed up on a Havana beach. Head smashed in by a baseball bat, genitals cut off by a dull knife. Forcade was once responsible for the confiscation of art works from the bourgeoisie fleeing the revolution. Had he really returned from exile just to visit his ailing father?
The novel evokes the disillusion of a generation, many of them veterans of the war in Angola, discovering the corruption of those who preceded them. Yet it is a eulogy of Cuba, its life of music, sex and the great friendships of the people who elected to stay and fight for survival.
Leonardo Padura was born in 1955 in Havana and lives in Cuba. He is a prize-winning novelist, essayist, journalist, and scriptwriter.
penultimate day as a policeman and, certainly, his final day as an inhabitant of his thirty-fifth year, and what he saw around and within him didn’t seem particularly pleasant. “My wife wants me to clean up the garden today, what do you reckon?” “That you’d be mad to buckle down . . . It’s the beginning of the end: she’ll want you painting the house, cleaning the cess-pit and even washing that ugly dog of yours. Then you’ll be fucked for good, because she’ll hand you a bag and the ration
lost, forgotten ingredients. And so he started to think of the hurricane again, still only visible in the newspaper: something like that was necessary, ravaging and devastating, purifying and righteous, for someone like him to regain the possibility of being himself, myself, yourself, Mario Conde, and for that deferred state to be resurrected that could beget a little beauty or pain or sincerity on to that mute, empty, defiant paper, where he finally wrote, as if overcome by an irrepressible
that, mustn’t we? The fact is that recently the most peculiar things have been happening . . . Besides, Lieutenant, if you ask to be discharged in the middle of all this business it may give rise to suspicions, and you should be aware of that. Although I must say I’m not here to suspect anyone and that’s why I want to hear your reasons for asking to be discharged. This place is no longer what I imagined it to be, although it should continue to be what it used to be: a headquarters for criminal
told me that there had come a moment after my sister’s death when he needed to change his life and that he would have preferred to take us with him, but dear Consuelo was opposed and insisted on staying where she was rather than follow him wherever he was bound. As far as I was concerned that explanation didn’t in any way justify his selfishness, although I saw my father differently for the first time, not as the guilty man I, my mother and the world around us had created . . . Now he seemed a
longed for permanence. The Count was surprised by a long forgotten feeling of worry about someone who was dependent on his tender care. He got up and, without putting his shoes on, quickly made for the back door, opening it a crack for fear Felix might take advantage of the fissure to penetrate his own home. He whistled, and Rubbish’s wet, shivering shape appeared before him, his tail drooping between his legs. “Come on, come inside,” he said, and before closing up the Count used this moment of