Havana Black

Havana Black

A Lieutenant Mario Conde Mystery

Mario Conde Investigates

by Leonardo Padura

Translated by Peter Bush

Published by: Bitter Lemon Press

255 Pages, 5.10 x 7.70 x 0.70 in

  • Paperback
  • 9781904738152
  • Published: June 2006


Praise for Havana Red, the first of the Lt. Conde series:

“Another winner from Bitter Lemon…an innovative take on the traditional detective story. A macho cop whose investigation into the murder of a transvestite leads him to ruminate on his own attraction to this ‘philosophy of mimetics and erasure.’"—The New York Times

“A scorching novel from a star of Cuban fiction. Conde’s quest follows the basic rhythm of the whodunit, but Padura syncopates it with brilliant literary riffs on Cuban sex, society, religion, even food.”—Independent

The brutally mutilated body of Miguel Forcade is discovered washed up on a Havana beach. Head smashed in by a baseball bat, genitals cut off by a dull knife. Forcade was once responsible for the confiscation of art works from the bourgeoisie fleeing the revolution. Had he really returned from exile just to visit his ailing father?

The novel evokes the disillusion of a generation, many of them veterans of the war in Angola, discovering the corruption of those who preceded them. Yet it is a eulogy of Cuba, its life of music, sex and the great friendships of the people who elected to stay and fight for survival.

Leonardo Padura was born in 1955 in Havana and lives in Cuba. He is a prize-winning novelist, essayist, journalist, and scriptwriter.