ROBERT L. FISH – Isle of Snakes. Captain José da Silva #2. Simon & Schuster, hardcover, 1963. Avon G1241, paperback, [1964?]; Ace, paperback, circa 1971.
They’re the condução do povo, these Pau de Arara — the transport of the folks — they usually carry hundreds day by day of their infinite seek for the promise of tomorrow that, for the person swaying precariously alongside within the sweltering warmth of the truck physique, must be higher than the truth of in the present day.
It was by no means merely that Robert L. Fish was an completed author of suspense, a gifted purveyor of thriller plots, and had a wry humorousness that ran by his work. He was all the time one thing extra: a rattling good author who selected to work within the thriller style.
Isle of Snakes is in Fish’s greatest identified collection that includes Brazilian policeman Captain José ‘Zé’ de Silva, an enthralling, clever, and sometimes swashbuckling adventurer liaison between the native police and Interpol , a swarthy pock confronted determine in a pink Jaguar who is usually aided by American Wilson (simply Wilson “He was a stocky, nondescript man…”) safety officer on the Embassy who can also be tied to Interpol, and who, whereas a helpful ally, all the time could have his personal objectives and motives (spelled CIA) in any collaboration with da Silva.
The guide opens with a person on the bus/truck above headed for the coast. He notices killers are after him, however manages to succeed in Rio earlier than he’s murdered. His physique leads to the morgue (the Instituto Medico-Authorized within the Rua dos Invalidos), a case for Zé, and a bizarre one when a bundle reveals up delivered by the lifeless man to an American resort containing a stuffed coral snake.
Nothing straight ties the case to Interpol and da Silva, however he’s intrigued, as Wilson notes,“Communicate of getting creativeness! You may begin with a humid bar rag and construct up a distillery!” He’s quickly proved proper although when it turns into clear somebody is prepared to kill for that lethal little stuffed snake and his beloved pink Jaguar is blown up within the storage when the attendant begins it.
Earlier than it’s over Wilson and Zé will notice why a person was murdered for a stuffed snake, smash a strong felony conspiracy, and naturally discover themselves on that island of snakes from the title earlier than a fast paced finale and chase.
It should be talked about that the perfect of Fish’s books transfer so quickly you may hardly catch your breath. The da Silva novels are available round sixty thousand phrases, this one solely has seven chapters, and the motion, repartee between Zé and Wilson, and unveiling thriller will go away you breathless.
“In case you’re preserving a report,” Da Silva stated with a smile, “I additionally don’t like snakes.” He drank his brandy and lit a cigarette. “To not point out civilians.”
They’re the most effective Holmes/Watson groups within the style, solely under Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin, their wry humor and quick paced motion nonetheless a mannequin of the proper technique to write a contemporary thriller.
If you happen to like your thriller novels intelligent, humorous, fast paced, and pleasant Fish is the correct mix for you, and he goes completely with pink or white wine.
Interpol in these books is a completely fictitious model of the actual non-public police group whose troubled previous as a Nazi entrance group who then helped Nazi Struggle Criminals escape after the Struggle and has since had a checkered historical past with a lot of its high officers charged and convicted of assorted crimes has by no means had energetic brokers and was largely helpful for issuing data on Individuals of Curiosity (Yellow Sheets) and needed criminals (Pink Sheets) to member organizations. Opposite to tv and flicks many Federal police businesses have by no means subscribed to Interpol right here due to their historical past.