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May 2006

Criminal Content


In the first of two police lineups of international noir authors, you'll find none of the usual suspects, and positive IDs on all of the perpetrators.

Abdelilah Hamdouchi's The Last Wager, from Morocco, reveals a detective wrestling with police reforms as he investigates a septuagenarian bride's murder.

Brazilian Carlos Machado's "The Man with the Long Mustache" develops the dangerous pastime of following strangers for sport.

Algerian author Mounsi's "Villon and I" introduces a juvenile delinquent from the French underworld to poetry.

Italian Leonardo Gori's nineteenth-century tale set in Florence, "The Big Sizzle," finds a chef murdered in his own kitchen.

A pickpocket on a train chooses his victim in The Fourth Take, by Slovenian author Polona Glavan.

The birth of a grandson, a clairvoyant, and a trip to Switzerland make up the pieces of the puzzle in German author Friedrich Glauser's Fever.

Finally, we have some history with these disreputable types, from the experimental fever dream of REX by Jose Manuel Prieto from Cuba, to the Mexican novel, The Black Minutes, by Martín Solares.

Special Note from the Editors: Starting May 15, you're invited to a book group on Dubravka Ugre…ic's new novel, The Ministry of Pain. This forum will kick off a series of monthly book groups hosted by famous book critics from The Believer, The Paris Review, The Complete Review, and more. Join us then!

from “The Last Wager: A Detective Novel”

Abdelilah Hamdouchi's The Last Wager takes place in modern-day Casablanca. Othman is an unemployed thirty-two-year-old Moroccan married to a wealthy seventy-three-year-old French woman,

The Man with the Long Mustache

Ever since I can remember, I've loved to watch people who pass by me on the street. I inherited this habit from an aunt who suffered serious injuries in a car accident when I was four

“Villon and I,” from “Territoires d’Outre-Ville”

The ties between Arab youth and the law bring to mind, in many ways, a nineteenth-century novel. For a long time I was fragile, yet in the pervasive delinquency around me, I seemed driven by

The Big Sizzle

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE:"Una grossa frittura" is a very recent story by Leonardo Gori, and it is about to be published as part of an anthology entitled Giallo Uovo (Mondolibri, April 2006). It

from “The Fourth Take”

As he was hastily and wearily glancing through the window at Gare du Nord, Michel felt as if he recalled Christophe's face at least twice a minute. Christophe's face was big and

from Fever

"Read that," said Studer, thrusting a telegram under his friend Madelin's nose. It was dark outside the Palais de Justice, the Seine gurgled as it lapped against the quai and the nearest

from “REX”

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE: Jose Manuel Prieto's Rex is a novel like none other. Its epigraph, from Bishop Berkeley, "Things are what they appear to be," is the first of many indications that

from “The Black Minutes”

Up until now, the most important nightmare I've had in my life I had when I was traveling by bus on a highway lined by pines. I haven't been able to decipher its meaning, at least,


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