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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.”


From “Night Bus”
By Giampiero Rigosi
“You’ll do what I say, and that’s it! Understand?”
Translated from Italian by Ann Goldstein
From “Havana Black”
By Leonardo Padura
He imagined the cork’s possible pain as if it were live flesh he was penetrating with his implacable metal corkscrew.
Translated from Spanish by Peter Bush
From “Framed”
By Tonino Benacquista
I could feel myself slowly receding. I felt the blackout rising in me like a hiccup. Just the one.
Translated from French by Adriana Hunter
From “A Walk in the Dark”
By Gianrico Carofiglio
You even feel the kick in your lungs, and you see the smoke spreading over your papers, your books, your cup of coffee
Translated from Italian by Howard Curtis
From “End of the World in Breslau”
By Marek Krajewski
Every few seconds, magnesium flashes lit up a wretched room filled with the odor of sweat-rotted shoes and bone glue.
Translated from Polish by Jean-Jacques Granas
A Hard-boiled Story
By Jakob Arjouni
A man with a position like Harry’s in my business is either loyal or dead.
Translated from German by Anthea Bell
The Reticent Suicide
By Santiago Páez
“Well, speed up, goddamn it!” he said, while he looked at the roadway very excitedly and in a panic, “can’t you see that the commissioner is waiting for me?”
Translated from Spanish by Harry Morales