Hotel Brasil: The Mystery of the Severed Heads.pdf
"A wonderful classic mystery novel written to the best standards of the genre. Between layers of the investigation of an unsolvable crime, Betto slips in a view of the real Brazil, raw and bleeding." Le Monde Diplomatique "A roman noir, but above all a bitter sweet novel, Hotel Brasil plunges the reader into the heart of a Rio that feeds on its people." Metro
Frei Betto, born 1944, is a Brazilian writer, political activist, liberation theologian and Dominican friar. He was imprisoned for four years in the 1970s by the military dictatorship for smuggling people out of Brazil. Frei Betto is still involved in Brazilian politics. He worked for the government of President Lula da Silva as an advisor on prison policy and child hunger. This is his first novel.
Rio de Janeiro. A family hotel whose clients reflect Brazilian society, multi-racial, with starkly contrasting backgrounds, and destitute. Rio is the perfect backdrop with its dictatorships, drug wars, child gangs and violent policing tactics. The first victim is found decapitated in bed, the head lying on the floor of his room. An eerie Mona Lisa smile on the victim's face and no evidence of a struggle indicate a murderer received as a friend. Other hotel guests are eventually killed, all decapitated. A classical crime novel in one way but really an opportunity for the author to describe Brazilian society, especially those left behind. Fascinating back stories are told such as that of the maid who dreams of making it in television soaps, and the female pimp who has survived incestuous rape, wrapped in a suspenseful intrigue that could have been thought up by Ruth Rendell.