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Friends of the Tauranga City Libraries Inc

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Leonardo Paduro- Fuentes, 2009

This is the last book of what is called the Havana Quartet, but unfortunately this last of the series is the only one in our library system. Paduro-Fuentes is a celebrated Cuban journalist and author.

The book features retired Police Inspector Mario Conde. This is an excellent novel and seems to have been translated very well. The story is set in 2009 with Conde retired from the police and now buying and selling/dealing in old books. He discovers a private 'Library' which is extraordinarily valuable and is full of Cuban/Spanish 1st editions. He discovers a note in one of the books that tip him towards a singer of 'bolero' who disappeared during/after the revolution.

This is a crime novel of the 'noir' genre but is set in modern and historical Cuba. I was pleased to be introduced to this author and will search him out in 'op-shops' etc. To me it was a 'wow' book and I can't wait to get my hands on the preceding books of this series.

The story is told by the main character Conde and his collection of 'friends.' Its very accessible and intriguing writing.


Reviewed by Jean Fraser