Words leave imprints in your mind like footprints in the sand...
Prague, Czech Republic
Uluru, Australia
  • Location: Havana, Cuba

Grab a Snake by the Tail

Grab a Snake by the Tail

Why a Booktrail?

2000s: There’s a murder in the Chinatown of Havana.

  • ISBN: 978-1912242177
  • Translator: Peter Bush
  • Genre: Crime

What you need to know before your trail

Inspector Mario Conde investigates a murder in the Barrio Chino, the rundown Chinatown of Havana. Not his usual beat, but when he’s asked to take the case by the beautiful Police Lieutenant Patricia Chion, he cant resist.

Pedro Cuang is found hanging naked from a beam in the ceiling of his dingy room. One of his fingers has been cut off, and the outline of two arrows was carved on his chest. Was this a ritual Santeria killing or a just a sordid settling of accounts among drug traffickers beginning to infiltrate Cuba in the 1980s?

Travel Guide

Booktrail it through Havana and its Chinatown

The Barrio Chino was once one of the largest Chinatowns in the West. Now it feels like a ghetto of uprooted families, with its derelict cemetery and boarded-up shops.

The story is soaked in atmosphere: African spells cast by babalao sorcerers, deliciously smoke-filled bars, deep friendships, and beautiful women – Lieutenant Chion among them.

Cuba has a huge Chinese community. They immigrated to the island but ended up in slave labour and they find life on the island difficult. This is not an easy society to blend into. This loneliness, isolation, and racism form the backdrop and background to this novel.

The dirty, poverty-ridden Barrio Chino is evoked with dirt, style and the amount of suspicion that most Havana residents seem to share about it.

BookTrail Boarding Pass: Grab a Snake by the Tail

Destination/location: Havana, Cuba  Author/guide:  Leonardo Padura  Departure Time: 2000s

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