the observer Sat 29 August 2009
In this sequel to Melo's award-winning novel The Killer, ex-contract killer and "vigilante of São Bernardo" Maiquel is a fugitive out for revenge. It has been 10 years since Maiquel's girlfriend ran off with a preacher, taking his baby daughter with her. He sets off on a relentless cat-and-mouse chase that takes him through Brazil and Bolivia, ending among the cavernous, Wal-Mart-like churches of Belém and Manaus. It is a mark of Melo's skill as a writer that her antihero is so sympathetic; his terse and unflinching narrative so readable. Maiquel's slick-talking PI might advise that revenge is a dish best served cold, but, as Melo deftly illustrates in this compelling novel, sometimes it is best not eaten at all.