A moral thriller of the first order, The Racket is set in the darkly shadowed Latin American landscape of modern-day Brazil, a vast country on the brink of anarchic lawlessness on every level and bankruptcy both material and spiritual. Against the background of urban decay and the rape of nature, social disintegration, and private despair, two ...
A moral thriller of the first order, The Racket is set in the darkly shadowed Latin American landscape of modern-day Brazil, a vast country on the brink of anarchic lawlessness on every level and bankruptcy both material and spiritual. Against the background of urban decay and the rape of nature, social disintegration, and private despair, two people find themselves at dangerous odds with the institutional savagery around them. One is an idealistic young teacher, Rosa Van Meurs, whose innocently written letter of protest against a corporate violation of native tribal land makes her the target of retribution. The other is her cousin Fabio, a poet and dreamer, who has drifted into the underworld to become an instrument of an evil, with no escape short of death. Inevitably these two opposites are drawn together, their fates intertwined in a tale taut with suspense as it moves toward moments of decision and final reckoning.
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Publishers Weekly, 1991-07-25 Weighty moral questions of good and evil buttress this brooding narrative set in contemporary Brazil. A letter to the Washington Post protesting the treatment of that country's Indians sets in motion a complex, somewhat disjointed series of events in which a lone woman's starched integrity is illuminated against a background of cynical compromise and pervasive corruption. The admonitory epistle is written by Rosa Van Meurs, freethinking daughter of an esteemed anthropologist, who teaches an inspired brand of history in backwater Florianopolis. Her act angers a greasy politician who prefers that his interest in a gold mine near Indian land go unexamined. While barbs are flung at Rosa from this direction, more danger comes when her spineless cousin Fabio, a consummate liar fleeing the service of a violent racketeer, washes up at her apartment. Mason ( The Illusionist ) imaginatively paints such fantastical scenes as Fabio's cataloguing of a museum of grisly votive offerings. Evocative detail immerses the reader in the decaying social fabric of Brazil. Yet the narrative unevenly slows and speeds, catching, then losing the reader's interest, and the subtle shades of the moral code propounded here are simplistically resolved in the denouement. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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