Missing Head Of Damasceo Monteiro by Antonio Tabucchi
The head used to belong to one Damasceno Monteiro before his murderers removed it with an electric saw. Monteiro had blundered onto a drug scam and needed to be silenced. Firmino, a cub reporter in Lisbon, is torn away from his glamorous fiancee and his course on Post-war Portuguese novelists, and sent to Oporto to cover the inquiry into Monteiro s murder. There he meets Don Fernando, the corpulent, cigar-smoking lawyer, noted for his resemblance to Charles Laughton, who has been called in to pin the blame where it belongs. The more the inquiry progresses and Firmino pursues his own investigations, the more it becomes clear that there are hidden forces at work in the case. Tabucchi skilfully recreates the court-room procedure of the inquiry and lavishes his irony on the men, women and events surrounding it. He provides a brilliant sketch of Portuguese society in all its complexity and confusion.