by Bruce TierneyJanuary, 2005
Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza's latest, A Window in Copacabana, finds intrepid Rio de Janeiro police inspector Espinosa hunting a purported serial killer who targets cops and their families. Espinosa, however, doesn't believe it for a moment: There's no serial killer. Our murderer isn't choosing the victims, just carrying out the orders. Serial killers are American. We don't have those in our culture. His second-in-command looks on dubiously. Crime is also culture, concludes Espinosa philosophically. He sets up a secret task force, reporting to him alone, made up of his most trusted associates. If Espinosa is correct, the killings are directed from somewhere within the police department. In short order the investigation points to corruption at high levels; indeed, all of the deceased cops lived well beyond their means, but otherwise the connections are tenuous at best. The dogged Espinosa meets his match in the somewhat obsessive wife of a well-placed government official, an eyewitness to the most recent killing. A Window in Copacabana is tropical noir at its best, lush with exotic backdrop and sophisticated in dialogue and plot.