The seventh instalment in Padura’s book series featuring Mario Conde, have just been published in Spain. La cola de la serpiente (Tusquets, 2011) –The Tail of the Snake–.
The publisher blurb reads: Few streets almost in ruins surrounded with debris and criminals, is what is left from the old Chinese Quarter of Havana. When Conde, a former policeman who now spends his time trading second hand books, enters, he cannot help but remember when he was in this exotic and rough corner of the city many years before, in 1989. It all turned out from the request of Lieutenant Patricia Chion, an irresistible woman, that was seeking his help in an strange case: the murder of Pedro Cuang, a lonely old man who was found hanged with a finger amputee and with a circle and two arrows engraved with a knife in his chest. Santeria (witchcraft) rituals forced them to make inquiries in other spheres of the city. But el Conde found unexpected links, secret businesses and a story of sacrifice and misfortunes that brought back to light the hidden truth of many Asian immigrant families. As the Chinese expression goes he had to find the tail of the snake to get to the head. (My free translation).