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‘Brilliant’ The Times

Mario Leme is a low-ranking detective in the Sao Paulo civil police. Every day on the way to work he sets off early and drives through the favela known as Paraisopolis – Paradise City. It’s a pilgrimage: his wife Renata was gunned down at an intersection here a year ago, the victim of a stray bullet in a conflict between drug dealers.

One morning, parked near the place where Renata died, he sees an SUV careen out of control and flip over. The driver Leo is killed, but before his body is removed, Leme is sure he sees bullet wounds.

Leo’s death wasn’t an accident, he was murdered. Soon, his girlfriend turns up dead too. And if they were killed deliberately, perhaps Renata was too . . .

Leme finds himself immersed further and further in the dark underbelly of Brazilian society, as corruption seeps from the highest to the lowest echelons, and the devastating truth about Renata begins to

PRAISE FOR JOE THOMAS

‘Brilliant’ The Times
‘Feverish energy’ Guardian
‘Wonderfully vivid’ Mail on Sunday
‘Sophisticated, dizzying’ GQ
‘Vivid and visceral’ The Times
‘Superbly realised vivid and atmospheric’ Guardian
‘Original’ Mail on Sunday
‘A stylish, atmospheric treat an inspired blend of David Peace and early Pinter’ Irish Times
‘Sparse, energetic, fragmented prose’ The Spectator
‘Vibrant, colourful, and complex’ Irish Independent
‘Stylish, sharp-witted, taut. A must for modern noir fans’ NB Magazine
‘Definitive confident and energetic’ Crime Time
‘Brilliant manic energy’ Jake Arnott
‘Wildly stylish and hugely entertaining’ Lucy Caldwell
‘Vivid, stylish, funny’ Mick Herron
‘Gripping, fast-paced, darkly atmospheric’ Susanna Jones
‘Snappy, thoughtful, moving’ John King
‘Exciting, fresh, incredibly assured’ Stav Sherez
‘Happy days!’ Mark Timlin
‘Utterly brilliant’ Cathi Unsworth
‘Had James Ellroy and David Peace collaborated on a novel they’d have written something like this’ Paul Willets

Reviews

Joe Thomas, who lived in São Paulo for a decade, uses his first-hand knowledge to convincingly bring the city to life
Nick Caistor, Latinolife
Great crime fiction hinges on a sense of place, and after returning to London after ten years living in the world in which he's set his sophisticated debut, Thomas proves and adroit guide to a city that has developed at dizzying speed
GQ