“The finest crime-fiction writer in the Spanish language...”--The London Times
“Full of atmosphere and descriptions to savour, this is as much a life-affirming tribute to Havana as a fine novel of death and detection.”--The Independent
“Police work is not merely a vocation but a metaphor for a futile yearning to solve the island’s deepest crimes and misdemeanours.”--Times Literary Supplement
Mario Conde has retired from the police force and makes a living trading in antique books. Havana is now flooded with dollars, populated by pimps, prostitutes, drug dealers, and other hunters of the night. In the book collection of a rich Cuban who fled after the fall of Batista, Conde discovers an article about Violeta del Rio, a beautiful bolero singer of the 1950s who disappeared mysteriously. A murder soon follows. This is a crime story set in today’s darker Cuba, but it is also an evocation of the Havana of Batista, the city of a hundred night clubs where the paths of Marlon Brando and Meyer Lansky crossed.
Probably Leonardo Padura’s best book, Havana Fever is many things: a suspenseful crime novel, a cruel family saga, and an ode to literature and his beloved, ravaged island.