The Body Snatcher

Written by Patricia Melo

Review written by Russell James

Russell James has been named “the Godfather of Noir” by Ian Rankin. Russell writes crime novels - about criminals and victims, not the cozy procedural or whodunnit. He is the editor of Great British Fictional Detectives.


The Body Snatcher
Bitter Lemon Press
RRP: £7.99
Released: July 7, 2105
Pbk


Melo gives a hard-line Brazilian kick to an old crime novel scenario: man finds a dead body alongside a large cache of high-quality cocaine and, despite everyone who is not a character in a crime novel screaming, “Don’t touch it,” he picks it up and slips away, convinced the drugs will make his fortune or, at the least, clear his debts and set him up.  Even having a policewoman as a girlfriend doesn’t stop him. 

 

But then, this is as dumb-ass a guy as you can get.  Knowing he must tell no one he uses a no-hoper that even he doesn’t trust to help sell the stuff, bag by bag, on the streets. 

 

Meanwhile he takes a job with the dead man’s distraught parents.  When said no-hoper sets up a deal with Bolivian professionals our narrator goes along with it – rapidly finding himself owing the gang 50,000 dollars to be paid in two weeks.  So he turns to his police girlfriend for help – despite two-timing her with his cousin’s current squeeze.  He has a plan, as Baldrick might say.

Astonishingly, Melo turns all this into a pared-down, fast-action and truly noir thriller with an ending you would not expect.


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