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Havana Red: A Mario Conde Mystery

Havana Red: A Mario Conde Mystery [Kindle Edition]

Leonardo Padura , Peter Bush
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"A scorching crime novel from a star of Cuban fiction...syncopated with brilliant riffs on sex, society, religion, even food." Independent"Prize-winning crime noir by Cuba's celebrated writer." Daily Mail"Padura's powerful writing creates an atmospheric picture of a turbulent city, illuminated by Conde's sardonic commentary." Sunday Telegraph"Conde is thrown into a tangled web of mysticism, politics and subversive activity. Captured perfectly in Padura's seamy, heat-soaked pages." Guardian

Product Description

A young transvestite found strangled in a Havana park. The stifling death of a beloved Cuba.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
"Havana Red" is so much more than a murder mystery - although it is an excellent example of the genre. Cuban author Leonardo Padura paints a realistic portrait of his lady love, the city of Havana, in this wonderful novel. He doesn't skimp on thrills and chills either!

What makes "Havana Red" so fascinating is that this ode is not to the glamorous vacation oasis of casinos, clubs, and luxury hotels that once brought the city fame. This is a paean, of sorts, to present day La Habana, with its crumbling post revolution colonial buildings which require more than a paint job to restore them to former glory; the winding streets filled with a most unique charm, although in need of repair; traffic jams caused by Chevrolets and Oldsmobiles from a 1958 time warp, Soviet-made Volgas and Ladas alongside newer Japanese Hyundais and Nissans with their cacophony of honking horns that work, amazingly, even with a lack of spare parts; the glorious Malecón, that famous avenue which runs along the seawall, where one can view the ever present Castillo del Morro in the distance. This is the tropical capital of Fidel's Cuba, a lusty city full of character and color, a strange mix of Europe, America, and Africa, a stalwart lady, though faded, who resonates with the syncopated beat of the rumba. Talk of politics is ever present here, despite what outsiders think. Cubans are difficult to repress. Complaints about life and lack of liberty are also prevalent, as well as a strange cynical acceptance about the way things are. This is a city that would still inspire Hemingway and Graham Green...just as it does Leonardo Padura.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Leonardo Padura - Havana Red 25 Mar 2010
Detective Mario Conde is struggling through life. He's finding no pleasure in his work or his love life and is growing more and more tired of his life in Cuba. Then a transvestite is found murdered and Conde is given the case. Mario is instantly thrown into a world he doesnt quite understand. A world of young gay men and women, promiscuity, drugs, transvestites and theater. Conde is imidiately uneasy, his prejudices has set him with a biased view of this world he's been forced to enter to solve the crime.

Yes this is a crime novel but it attempts to be so much more. The city itself is really quite a driving force. The way Padura describes the city, the heat, the smells and the colours of the city really occupies alot of the book while the investigation takes a back seat. This book isn't bad, it's quite slow going and hard to get into but at times rather beautiful. However take warning that is most definately not first and foremost a crime novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing 23 Jun 2014
By Al
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After loving Havana Blue, I was disappointed by the wandering plotless nature of Havana Red. There is still a great cast of central characters but the lack of plot development makes this a slow read.
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