In the remote island of Fernando de Noronha, a secluded paradise in the coast of Brazil, the bodies of a colonel and a local doctor are found by police commissioner Nelson Silva, also known as Nelsão. Understaffed, he must rely on the help of Tobias Martins, a photographer working for a tourist agency that had been with the colonel hours before he was killed. As the commissioner skillfully advances on his investigation with poise and expertise, Tobias describes his interactions with natives, foreigners and his involvement with Lena, manager of the B&B where he is staying. Through his perspective, with Tom Jobim and reggae classics serving as background, the reader also discovers some obscure parts of the island, such desolate prison ruins, and numerous conflicts.
Divided into two parts, “Stranded in Paradise” and “The sea outside and the sea inside”, the novel relies on a dual narrative perspective, alternating between the voices of the two main characters. As it approaches its thrilling conclusion, this entanglement between both parts pushes beyond a simplistic mystery-solving ending to unravel a bundle of tormented souls and a family tragedy.
Publication/Status: by Planeta (Brazil) in May 2017. Sold to Gallimard (France). [288 pages]