Lost World, By Patricia Melo

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The Independent Culture

The sequel to Patricia Melo's prize-winning novel, The Killer, finds the former hit-man Maiquel living the life of a fugitive. It's ten years since his girlfriend ran off with another man, taking his baby daughter with her.

The rules of Maiquel's new undercover existence are simple: he can be seen on crowded avenues and packed trains – "everybody is nobody" – but, if out on his own, makes sure to carry a newspaper under his arm.

Part way through the novel, Maiquel unexpectedly inherits his aunt's house and her bank account. So he suddenly finds himself in a position to track down his lost family.

The book's translator, Clifford E Landers, more than rises to the challenge of capturing the hard-hitting lingo of Melo's punchy Brazilian noir.