The Body Snatcher
Written by Patricia Melo
Review written by Russell James
Russell James has been named “the Godfather of Noir” by Ian Rankin. Russell writes crime novels - about criminals and victims, not the cozy procedural or whodunnit. He is the editor of Great British Fictional Detectives.
Bitter Lemon Press
Released: July 7, 2105
Melo gives a
hard-line Brazilian kick to an old crime novel scenario: man finds a dead body
alongside a large cache of high-quality cocaine and, despite everyone who is
not a character in a crime novel screaming, “Don’t touch it,” he picks it up
and slips away, convinced the drugs will make his fortune or, at the least,
clear his debts and set him up. Even
having a policewoman as a girlfriend doesn’t stop him.
But then, this is as dumb-ass a guy as
you can get. Knowing he must tell no one
he uses a no-hoper that even he doesn’t trust to help sell the stuff, bag by
bag, on the streets.
Meanwhile he takes a job with the dead
man’s distraught parents. When said
no-hoper sets up a deal with Bolivian professionals our narrator goes along
with it – rapidly finding himself owing the gang 50,000 dollars to be paid in
two weeks. So he turns to his police
girlfriend for help – despite two-timing her with his cousin’s current squeeze. He has a plan, as Baldrick might say.
Astonishingly, Melo turns all this into a
pared-down, fast-action and truly noir thriller with an ending you would not