Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza began his writing career by publishing academic works while he was a professor of psychology at Brazil’s Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. His experience as a scientist and psychiatrist is reflected in his mystery series centered on Inspector Espinosa, who investigates crime in the Copacabana section of Rio de Janeiro. In these novels, crimes are not always solved, but Garcia-Roza thoroughly examines the inspector’s thoughts as he contemplates the psychological and philosophical issues that produce these often brutal crimes.
Through Espinosa’s thoughts, Garcia-Roza comments on the modern Brazilian mind, with special emphasis on the psychological and legal interactions between the multiple levels of society to be found in Copacabana and Rio de Janeiro. Espinosa’s calm, frank, and astute assessment of the reasons for the existence of corruption in the megalopolis where he lives provides a nonbiased explanation of the reality of the lives of those who are typically not mentioned in the daily news: the homeless children living on the streets of Rio, police who place their own welfare above that of their fellow citizens, and strong and independent women who function within a male culture.