Book Review: Manual for a Murder by Gonçalo J. Nunes Dias

Manual for a Murder by Gonçalo J. Nunes Dias

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Title: Manual for a Murder
Author: Gonçalo J. Nunes Dias
Publisher: Gonçalo J. Nunes Dias
Publish Date: June 24, 2018
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Series: na
My Rating: 3/5


Marina, a 38-year-old accountant in a crumbling relationship, falls in love with a charming colleague who is married with a son. The two begin a torrid relationship. One commits a murder.

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.

Manual for a Murder by Gonçalo J. Nunes Dias
Purchase Links:
Amazon | Books-a-Million


You know, Marina, I have worked in this profession for a long time, and I know that sometimes we think that the only solution is for someone to disappear, a mere accident, a murder, and, even though we know this idea is stupid and crazy, we are unable to see anything beyond that. It’s just like insects with light. On a summer’s night, we can watch these insects drawn to the light again and again. The insects know it will lead them nowhere – in fact, they can even get burnt and die – but it’s their nature. I think it’s called phototaxis, the internal substance that makes them attracted to the light. But I’m not sure; I’m no expert on animal fauna. But the point is that we humans also become obsessed when we cannot find a solution. We find ourselves in the deepest darkness, and when we see a light, even though we know that this light is a mirage, an illusion that will only harm us, we cannot stop thinking about it, and no matter how hard we try to forget about it, we cannot put it out of our minds; it keeps on coming back until we let it become the focus of actions. It was the light that blinded you, Ms Fonseca. And however much you thought you had committed the perfect crime, you did not. That is why you are here today.


Marina has an affair with a married coworker. After their affair ends, her former lover’s wife is killed. Oscar is a police detective investigating the death. When Oscar finds out about the affair, Marina is added to the suspect list.

This story is divided into three parts. The first and last are from Marina’s point of view and the second is from Oscar’s point of view. The two different viewpoints add a little more intensity to the story than if only one was presented.

I read a translated version of this book. There were some parts that read a little awkward, and that slowed the flow of the story for me. This is a short book though, so it was still a fast read.

Dark, clever, and tragic. A good read for mystery fans.

I received a free digital copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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