José Prata

Portugal

© Tiago Sousa Dias

Prata, born in 1968, has been working as a journalist for ten years, mainly for the culture sections of various newspapers and magazines. He was primarily interested in cinema and literary criticism. He is currently writing for several newspapers and literary magazines.

 

Os coxos dançam sozinhos (“Those with a Limp dance alone”) is Prata’s first novel. I'm in the room and I'm not alone. Stretched out on the floor in front of me, face down, is the old woman I murdered this morning. The first-person narrator, Porto Brandão, is a middle-aged, intelligent, quick-witted and quite likeable police inspector with a liking for Latin quotations. But he also has a problem: Not only is he busy investigating his own murders, he has also been assigned Alminha, a good-natured but not particularly bright assistant. Thanks to his tactical superiority, Brandão is for a while able to deceive his, not always very gifted, colleagues and his gullible neighbours. However, the situation gets somewhat complicated, when a copy-cat murderer turns up and leaves puzzling messages for Brandão. A furious competition begins. The events become more and more intricate and absurd.

Os coxos dançam sozinhos is an excitingly paced and light-handed crime story, mordantly ironic, full of black humour, but also very lenient towards human weaknesses.

 

Represented for ASA, Portugal

 

Original edition and rights sold:

 

Os coxos dançam sozinhos, Porto: ASA 2002, 198 p.

Brazil: Nova Fronteira Spain: Alfaguara 2004