|Emne||Crime & mystery; Fiction in translation; Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)|
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A frustrated publisher receives a mysterious angst-ridden manuscript: 'a friend' must send it in installments; its contents would put the author in danger. As he pieces together the story, he learns that the author is the wife of one of the two Martelli brothers - gangsters who dominate a small town in the Brazilian interior. Surely her dark outpourings are a cry for help? One by one, he dispatches his motley collection of friends to Frondosa - a town totally obsessed with five-a-side football - to investigate and to bring her to safety.'An unsual elegance and lightness of touch, as well as a lingering underlying melancholy. It's nicely written too - the translation is as smooth as silk' Andrew Taylor, Spectator. 'At barely 200 pages, and with a note-perfect translation from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa, The Spies shares with a cryptic crossword the virtue of succinctness, not a word or scene wasted' Hannah Rosefield, Observer.