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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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"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


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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: #1,988,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoy Inspector Espinoza's mysteries very much because for one thing, I was born in Rio de Janeiro and his novels take you to different parts of the city where I grew up. Garcia-Roza's mysteries are very cerebral and I enjoy this aspect of his writing as well. However this particular novel seems unfinished, the characters were all somewhat illogical and the ending did not solve any of the puzzles of why the characters acted the way they did. I was very disappointed. I cannot get this author's work in Portguese because books in Portuguese are more expensive than the translated works, but this past summer I had the opportunity to read passages of one of Garcia-Roza's novels in the original Portuguese, and I was very impressed with the quality of his writing. The translations don't do justice to his writing style.
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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: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have been an avid follower of this series since its inception and, although I started this one with high hopes, I was very disappointed. As other reviewers point out, despite the very promising spark and drive of the first part, it wobbles into an ending that fails to explain why anybody did any of the extraordinary things they did. That's just not acceptable in this genre. Then there are wasteful things like Welber getting development to no purpose, and lazy things, like Espinosa going through the well-worn motions of book buying and frozen dinners. I agree with those who say the overall effect is that the author lost interest in his characters and plot and is moving on to something else. Too bad, as this could have been a first rate story.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A psychiatric doctor is being stalked and persecuted by one of his patients, a strange young man who wants to be called Jonas. Now his eldest daughter has disappeared, and Doctor Nesse is sure that Jonas is somehow responsible. Inspector Espinosa listens to the doctor's story, little imagining that this is just the beginning of an ever-intensifying family tragedy.

No matter how deeply they dig, Espinosa and his detectives can't determine reality from fantasy. The nature of the story keeps changing. Is the doctor the victim or the perpetrator of evil? Is Jonas real, or a paranoid fantasy? Is he dead, or has he resurrected (like Jonah from the belly of the whale) to wreak more havoc?

Luiz Alfredo Gatcia-Roza wrote many scholarly books on psychology and psychoanalysis before he took to crime writing -- good training for this powerful psychological novel. He paints fascinating portraits of the elusive Jonas, the obsessive doctor, and the doctor's unraveling family.

The story is so dark, I found it hard to read at first. But it's a brilliant tour de force, and I had to admire its artistry.

There is less of Espinosa's daily life in this book than some earlier books. The atmosphere is claustrophobic, very centered on the distressed and disordered Nesse family. But as usual with the Espinosa novels, there's a sense of open-endedness. The reader can play psychologist and draw his/her own conclusions about the storyline.

Pursuit is an intense reading experience - further proof, if any is needed, of the unique talent of Garcia-Roza.
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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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