A complex and totally gripping literary thriller from one of our most exciting young authors. ‘A class act…For once a novelist influenced by Raymond Chandler is not shown up by the comparison’ – Sunday Times
1941. Europe’s as dark as a coal hole and Lisbon’s the furnace mouth. Klaus Felsen, press-ganged into the SS from his Berlin factory, has arrived at the strangest party in history where Nazis and Allies, refugees and entrepreneurs dance in a whirl of opportunism and despair. Felsen’s war takes him out of the spy-ridden hotel lounges and into the bleak mountains of the north where a less sophisticaed, more brutal battle is being fought for an element vital to Hitler’s blitzkrieg. There he meets the man who will start the first turn of the cycle of greed and revenge which wheels through the next fifty years.
Inspector Zé Coelho, an outsider in the insider world of the Policía Judicíaria in modern day Lisbon, is investigating the death of a young girl with a disturbing sexual past. As Zé digs deeper into her insignificant death, he finds he’s turning the dark soil of history and unearthing old bones. The Portuguese revolution is hardly a generation old and the injustices of the old fascist régime have never been fully resolved.
But there is an older and even greater injustice which this small death in Lisbon has sought, horrifically, to redress, and in Zé’s final push for the truth, he must confront a more chilling, powerful and resistant force.