Maj Sjowall Interview at Fourth Estate

Maj Sjowall – The Godmother of Scandinavian Crime Fiction | Fourth Estate.

Seems that Fourth Estate (an imprint of HarperCollins) is re-issuing the Martin Beck books with pretty new covers. There’s a quickie interview with the author at the link above for those interested. Not sure what to think of the new covers sporting quotes from both Jo Nesbø and Henning Mankell. To me they aren’t all that flattering especially the part about Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, being the “godparents of Scandinavian crime fiction.” I would have preferred something like: “the ones who started it all” or something. No? well, that’s why I don’t work in marketing.

Review: Lost World, By: Patrícia Melo

Writer Patrícia Melo has penned a compelling story about an ex-contract killer in search of his family in Lost World (UK 2009). The novel is translated from the Brazilian Portuguese by Clifford Landers. The protagonist is Máiquel, a fugitive who’s been in hiding for ten years. He first appears in The Killer which won critical acclaim. Melo’s work is gritty, atmospheric and very dark. From page one I was hooked into this world. Thoughts after I closed the book: this is a damn good read.

After ten years hiding out as a fugitive, Máiquel resurfaces at his aunt Rosa’s funeral in São Paulo to settle her affairs. He sells the house, gets a set of fake ID’s and decides to hire a detective to look for his family. Ten years ago, his girlfriend, Erica ran off with a preacher who ratted him out to the cops. She took his daughter and his money and disappeared. She left a scathing note that he remembers word for word.

His road trip and mission proves to be a complicated one as his breaks all of his rules for keeping a low profile. The author has him passing through many favela’s (shanty towns in Brazil). Has him shacking up in smelly boarding houses, hiding out in a landless camp and run down hotels. The weather is always hot. Exotic foods are always on display with market vendors selling their wares in different languages around him as he passes through town. Some were er quite interesting. Continue reading