'Brilliant' - The Times
São Paulo, 2013: a city at an extraordinary moment in its history.
Mario Leme, a detective in the civil police, has developed a friendship with a young English investigative journalist, Ellie. When she goes to meet a contact in central São Paulo, Mario observes from the street as she walks into a building – and doesn’t come out. Inside, he discovers the dead body of a young man he doesn’t recognise, and Ellie’s phone lying on the floor.
Told partly from Leme’s point of view, partly from Ellie’s, Gringa takes us through five days during the redevelopment of the centre of São Paulo in the run-up to the 2014 World Cup. Ellie’s disappearance links characters at every level of the social hierarchy, from the drug dealers and civil and military police to the political class – she witnesses the feral brutality of urban breakdown.
Gringa, with shades of Don Winslow and James Ellroy, is a portrait of São Paulo in all its harshness and dysfunction, its corruption and social divisions, its kaleidoscopic dynamism, its undercurrent of derangement, and its febrile, sensual instability, executed with a deep knowledge of the city’s anatomy.
PRAISE FOR JOE THOMAS:
‘Brilliant’ The Times
‘Feverish energy’ Guardian
‘Wonderfully vivid’ Mail on Sunday
‘Sophisticated, dizzying’ GQ
‘Vivid and visceral’ The Times
‘Superbly realised…vivid and atmospheric’ Guardian
‘Original’ Mail on Sunday
‘A stylish, atmospheric treat…an inspired blend of David Peace and early Pinter’ Irish Times
‘Sparse, energetic, fragmented prose’ The Spectator
‘Vibrant, colourful, and complex’ Irish Independent
‘Stylish, sharp-witted, taut. A must for modern noir fans’ NB Magazine
‘Definitive…confident and energetic’ Crime Time
‘Brilliant…manic energy’ Jake Arnott
‘Wildly stylish and hugely entertaining’ Lucy Caldwell
‘Vivid, stylish, funny’ Mick Herron
‘Gripping, fast-paced, darkly atmospheric’ Susanna Jones
‘Snappy, thoughtful, moving’ John King
‘Exciting, fresh, incredibly assured’ Stav Sherez
‘Happy days!’ Mark Timlin
‘Utterly brilliant’ Cathi Unsworth
‘Had James Ellroy and David Peace collaborated on a novel…they’d have written something like this’ Paul Willets