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Hot Nights, Cold Blood: Noir, Part Two

August 2006

In the murderous summer heat—when, to quote Raymond Chandler, “Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks”—we invite you to chill with the icy killers, con men, and cops of our second noir issue. Giampiero Rigosi’s hustlers board the “Night Bus” in Bologna, and Leonardo Padura’s burned-out Cuban policeman confronts Hurricane Felix and his own tropical depression in “Havana Black.” Tonino Benacquista’s Parisian gallery worker wrestles modern art and a modern art thief in “Framed,” Gianrico Carofiglio’s weary Italian lawyer tries to stop smoking and go straight in “A Walk in the Dark,” and Marek Krajewski’s laconic inspector finds corpses in walls and ghosts everywhere in “End of the World in Breslau.” Jakob Arjouni’s disgraced gangster plots his heroic redemption in the antic “Black Story,” while Santiago Paez’s Ecuadorian cops investigate a suicide who’s literally gone to pieces. Let tempers and temperatures rise: As Chandler noted, “Anything can happen.”


A Hard-boiled Story
By Jakob Arjouni
He’d loused it up, that was for sure! As head of security he’d been in charge of the deal. The fact that the Russians’ lead containers held not plutonium but a scribbled note saying,…
Translated from German by Anthea Bell
from Havana Black
By Leonardo Padura
“And get here quick!” he screamed at a sky that seemed languid and becalmed, as if still painted from October’s deceptive palette of blue: he screamed, arms crossed, chest bare, bellowing…
Translated from Spanish by Peter Bush
from End of the World in Breslau
By Marek Krajewski
Breslau Monday, November 28th 9:00 a.m.Kurt Smolorz, a sergeant in the Criminal Unit, was one of the best officers of the Breslau Police Department. His brutality was reviled by criminals, while the laconic…
Translated from Polish by Jean-Jacques Granas
Tales of a Severed Head, I
By Rachida Madani
What city and what night since it's night in the city when a woman and a train-station argue over the same half of a man who is leaving. He is young, handsome he is leaving for a piece of white bread.…
Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
Where I walk I see doors and it's not clear and it's not simple. Where I walk I see women and the women twist themselves along branches. A…
Translated from French