In a parking garage in the corner of Rio de Janeiro, corporate executive Ricardo Carvalho is dead in his car, with a bullet in his head and his wallet and briefcase missing. World-weary Inspector Espinosa is called in to investigate the apparent robbery and murder, but the philosopher-detective knows all too well that things are not always as they seem. Carvalho's one-million-dollar life insurance policy and the subsequent disappearance of his secretary muddy the water—but not nearly as much as the sexy allure of Espinosa's prime suspect, Carvalho's beautiful widow. When two more people turn up dead, the investigation takes on a sudden urgency, hurtling toward a shocking, unconventional conclusion.
This novel introduces readers to a protagonist-detective who is at once brilliant yet jaded, savvy yet sketical, and wholly engaging and likable. As The Baltimore Sun has noted: "If Gabriel García Márquez wrote crime fiction, he might create a detective like Inspector Espinosa."