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Pursuit: An Inspector Espinosa Mystery (Inspector Espinosa Mysteries) Hardcover – January 24, 2006

3.6 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The subtlety and nuance that have won Brazilian author Garcia-Roza much acclaim are sadly absent in his fifth Inspector Espinosa mystery (after 2005's A Window in Copacabana). The austere translation makes it difficult to distinguish the voices of Rio cop Espinosa and his colleagues, Ramiro and Welber, as they untangle the complicated stories of psychiatrist Artur Nesse; Nesse's wife, Teresa; and their teenage daughters, Letícia and Roberta. Nesse's family seems to lead a fairly straightforward life until a patient of his, Isidoro Cruz, seduces Letícia. Nesse has them both hospitalized, claiming that Cruz is psychotic and Letícia has suffered a breakdown. When Roberta disappears and Teresa is found dead on a sidewalk bench, the police must unravel a long and confusing chain of events to understand what crimes have been committed and by whom. Little character development takes place against this dark backdrop, though we do learn more about Welber than in previous books, and in the end, with many questions deemed unanswerable, the whole thing seems an exercise in frustration as much for the reader as for Espinosa and his crew.
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"Who wouldn't want to read about a sympathetic, sensitive and literate cop who really wants to open a used-book store?"
--Bloomberg News

"With his existential sensibility, his exotic beat, and his literary merit, [Espinosa] seems poised to join the ranks of the great modern international fictional cops."
--San Francisco Chronicle

"It's taken until now for a writer to come along to do for the corruption of Brazil's Rio de Janeiro what Chandler did for Los Angeles." --The Observer

"This is entertainment of a high order, sly and smart."
--The Washington Post Book World

"Garcia-Roza is an academic in the tradition of Alexander McCall Smith, but . . . he's tougher and more sardonic." --Chicago Tribune


Product Details

  • Series: Inspector Espinosa Mysteries (Book 5)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.; 1st edition (January 24, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805074392
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805074390
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,658,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have been a fan of Garcia-Roza for a while and was very impressed with the first three installments in the Espinosa series. This book, which for a while seemed was going to be better than the fourth installment (a disappointment in itself), ended up abruptly. The ending explains nothing and resolves little. I was a very frustrated and angry reader when I turned the last page.

The book is divided into "stories", what should rather have been presented as chapters of the same story. The first one of these is stellar. It builds up the mystery around Jonas/Isidoro and leaves one yearning to get to the end of the book and to discover what is behind this baffling character. His motivations are dark and his actions are confusing. The plot seems to lead the reader closer and closer to what could have been an exciting ending.

What happens in the end, however, I can tell you without offering any spoilers. Nothing is resolved. No questions are answered. The story ends. It almost looks like the author didn't know what to do with it. Read the book if you want, but don't say that you weren't warned. I give it two stars only for the unachieved potential this story had.
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Format: Hardcover
Hospital psychiatrist Dr. Arthur Nesse has a problem. One of his patients, a man variably known as Isidoro and Jonas, has been stalking him. Now, he believes his family is in danger, and he calls on Inspector Espinosa for help. His daughter and the patient are both missing, and Nesse suspects foul play.

When the daughter shows up at home, unharmed, you think that the book is over. But Garcia-Roza's psychological-thriller Pursuit is only just beginning. The plot of this book has more twists and turns than the best roller-coaster - it's designed to keep you guessing frm the beginning.

This book is the fifth in the Inspector Espinosa series, and I was worried that I'd come in too late to really enjoy the book. I'm sure that there were some inside references that I missed, but I didn't feel that I missed anything important in the book by not having read the previous four. In fact, I'm looking for the others in the series now, so that I can learn more about this fascinating detective, Inspector Espinosa.

The book isn't a mystery in the whodunit genre - it is far more a thriller, with psychological overtones that throw a light on the darkest qualities of the human psyche. The book will keep you guessing - and keep you reading - right to the very end. There were times as I read the book when I really felt that I understood the ammount of confusion that Espinosa felt as he tried to deal with this increasingly bizarre case. The only real difficulty that I had with the book was the unatisfying conclusion. I really felt that nothing was resolved, the questions about Isidoro/Jonas really unanswered. This unsatisfying conclusion aside, the book is a fascinating read, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys psychological drama.
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Format: Hardcover
The fifth installment in Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza's Inspector Espinosa series finds the chief of Rio de Janeiro's 12th precinct looking into a series of related complaints. A certain Dr. Nesse, a psychiatrist, contacts Espinosa after his daughter disappears, and he and Espinosa have further contact later on when more troubles befall the psychiatrist and his family. Nesse is convinced that he is being persecuted by one of his patients, an enigmatic young man who calls himself Jonah, but substantiating his accusations proves to be difficult.

So much for the plot, as I don't want to give anything away. This is a very smart book. Garcia-Roza tells the story initially from the perspective of the psychiatrist, who believes he is being stalked by Jonah and feels himself unaccountably threatened by it. Readers will feel the threat too: there is something menacing about Jonah's behavior, despite that his actions are ostensibly innocent. But as the story progresses the situation becomes increasingly ambiguous: is Jonah as bad as we're led to believe, or is the psychiatrist a paranoid? As Jonah says at one point in the story regarding his own behavior, "As you can see, the facts are the same, but the meaning is different." Interpretation is everything. The levels of possibility in the novel make for a delicious read.

Pursuit is translated into English from its original Portuguese. I can't speak for the author's style in his native language, but in English the prose is wonderfully straightforward.
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Format: Hardcover
Dr. Artur Nesse is a psychiatrist with a problem. His seventeen-year-old daughter is missing and the alleged abductor is one of Dr. Nesse's own patients.

Jonas, aka Isidoro Cruz, is a young man whose psychosis is difficult for Dr. Nesse to pinpoint.

He refuses to go by the name his parents gave him and doesn't seem to have anything more to speak of than that. He does, however, spend far too much time around the medical facility ostensibly stalking Dr. Nesse.

The other patients and employees know Jonas by name and find him quite amiable. The good doctor, however, doesn't see him in the same light, especially when his daughter, Letícia, is taken in by Jonas' charm and good looks.

When Letícia disappears, Dr. Nesse's first thought is that she is with Jonas. He seeks out the services of Chief Inspector Espinosa, but within a few days Letícia has returned home, insisting she left of her own free will. Determined to prevent Jonas from having any further contact with his daughter, Dr. Nesse has Jonas detained in the psychiatric ward. Unfortunately, the devastation this causes to a teen-aged girl "in love" leads to Letícia's very real emotional breakdown.

Months later, Jonas is reportedly dead and the doctor's younger daughter is now missing. A new set of troubles ensue wherein Chief Espinosa has to look at the previous connection between doctor and patient in a whole new way. He must decipher who was actually the perpetrator and who was the victim in order to get to the bottom of the current mysterious disappearances and deaths.

Pursuit is the fifth and final installment in the Chief Espinosa series of books by Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza.
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