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A Small Death in Lisbon    by Robert Wilson order for
Small Death in Lisbon
by Robert Wilson
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2002
Hardcover, Paperback

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

In this, Robert Wilson's fifth book, a young girl's assault and murder in today's time somehow ties into events that occurred fifty years before during World War II. Wilson weaves his tale between the two eras quite well. He also portrays Portugal, where this story takes place, as it was during the war and as it is today.

Inspector Ze Coelho is assigned to find the killer of young Catarina Oliveira. While the reader follows his inquiries, events taking place during 1941 are setting the stage for the murder years hence. I never thought of Portugal's place in the world during the war. I found the background of this part of the book very interesting and quickly got caught up in the characters' lives, evil though they may have been.

The investigation into Catarina's murder takes us through the streets of Lisbon, guided by a man who obviously knows the city well. Uncovering facets of his own personality and that of his daughter's, the Inspector delves into the background of those people who were the last to see Catarina on the day she was killed.

The arrest of the murderer is not the end of the book. Although late at night, I kept reading and turning the pages to discover what more could be in the story. I was not disappointed. A cleverly thought out book with twists and turns that one doesn't see readily but begins to realize as the plot thickens.

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