Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Excerpts from Manual for a Murder by Goncalo JN Dias

Today, I'm featuring Portuguese author Goncalo JN Dias, who often has lots of interesting ideas for books. I hosted him before on Nadaness In Motion, where we did a short interview with book excerpts from The Good Dictator.

Goncalo has a new book out called MANUAL FOR A MURDER. I'm featuring two excerpts from the book.

Both of Goncalo's books can be found in English and Portuguese.

Synopsis for Manual for a Murder

Marina, a 38-year-old accountant in a crumbling relationship, falls in love with her charming colleague Andre.

Oscar, a homicide detective, is assigned to the case. He is a man dedicated to his work and to his family, and he likes to joke about and mock the typical American police series.

The book is narrated from two perspectives, Marina and Oscar.

The first excerpt is from Marina's view in chapter 1.

Looking back, I can identify several reasons why I fell in love with Andre, and they are largely related to defects that I projected onto Julio to justify my behaviour. His sense of humour was one reason. Andre was funny, with his dark humour, refined and clever, but he could also be melancholy, quiet and needy. He was comfortable talking about his faults, his defeats, failures and fears.

Julio’s sense of humour was more conservative. He was also funny, but he couldn’t laugh at himself. He held himself in high regard, thought that he was intellectually superior to most people, and had an opinion about every topic. He loved to argue and never took the blame for anything. I would be lying if I said that physical factors had no bearing on my choice. During our thirteen years together, Julio had gained over three stone. When we met, he was a handsome young man, almost 5’9” tall and weighing 12 1/2 stone, and with lovely, curly light brown hair. Thirteen years later, he weighed nearly 16 stone. He was practically bald, but refused to accept it by preserving half a dozen hairs in an absurd attempt to hide the fact. He knew that he was becoming fat, but did nothing to get in shape; he constantly made plans but never put them into practice. Andre was no Greek god, but he was clearly more attractive. Every Sunday morning he played squash with friends from university. He had a small belly, but his body was firm, and he was happy to use creams and perfumes.

Julio was a true gentleman when he made love; he always asked permission, and if I said that I wasn’t in the mood, he understood and never insisted. He liked to talk during the act, to ask me if everything was good, if I wanted to change position. At the end, he wanted me to approve of his performance. Andre never asked permission; he won the right to make love through his insistence, confidence and determination. He never spoke during the act, nor asked for an assessment. He knew that he satisfied me.
However, out of all the reasons I could find to justify my actions, what really made me want to be with Andre was hope: the fantasy of being with someone who understood me, who didn’t criticize me, who saw the world through the same eyes; it was the belief that Andre would banish all my ghosts, my doubts and anxieties, and that I would once again dream, fly, have projects and ambitions, wake up in the morning with a lust for life. What I saw in Andre was hope, so much hope.

The second excerpt is from Oscar, a homicide detective, who is assigned to the case. From chapter 2 in Manual for a Murder.

The autopsy results came on Monday. There were no signs of violence or rape. The victim had been injected with bleach or a similar cleaner and then, already unconscious, had died in the fire with her hands cuffed to that car’s armrest, so that she couldn’t flee and survive. Pretty macabre and sick. Neither on her body nor on the remains of her burnt clothes did we find any fibre from anyone we could use as evidence. Which led to another question: if she had been killed for money, why hadn’t the killer withdrawn anymore? Or stolen her laptop or her wedding ring?

There were several questions to ask Sofia’s relatives, principally Andre, so we waited until the funeral that Wednesday, and then, on the followings days, we called in different relatives to give statements. The funeral was held at the Limiar Cemetery, fairly close to the deceased’s house. It was full of people, relatives, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and the curious. I watched Andre carefully, looking for some abnormal reaction or odd closeness, but I detected nothing.

Add Manual for a Murder by Goncalo JN Dias on Goodreads and stay tuned for the book review by Nadaness In Motion!

Follow Goncalo JN Dias on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Blog, and Amazon.

Purchase Manual for a Murder via Kobo or Amazon.

About Goncalo JN Dias and his books
The life of this character is full of contradictory information and rumours. Both his date of birth and home town are uncertain. Some say he hails from a suburban ghetto in Lisbon, Portugal; while others claim that he was born in eastern Russia, in the city of Vladivostok, sometime in the ‘60s.

According to gossips, he worked for the Reagan Administration in the early ‘80s, and helped to weaken the Soviet economy, although others say that he worked for the KGB as a spy in the western world.

At the end of the ‘80s, he was spotted in Seattle, working as a grunge music producer under the pseudonym of Johnny Blanco.

Goncalo JN Dias

His location was a mystery for over a decade until, at the beginning of the century, he emerged as an executive in the burka trade between the mountains of Pakistan and Afghanistan with the name of Mustafa Blanco. Clashes between the Taliban and US troops forced him to vanish again for a while.

Nowadays, there are some rumours that he became a hermit and lives in the woods of a small town, No Name, Colorado, United States, spending his time reading and writing; others, however, claim that he resides in Tennessee as a country music singer, with the name Marcogekson Blanco.

What is certain is that he wrote two books. The first one, The Good Dictator, was a real failure; although it was translated into several languages, it only sold two copies.  The second one, Manual for a Murder, was said to incite violence and killing, and has been banned in several countries, including Tuvalu and Kyrgyzstan.

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