A Temple-Khadra connection
Recent headlines from Rio de Janeiro lend credence to that vision. But so does the work of a writer I've discussed here several times: Yasmina Khadra. Here's Algiers police Inspector Brahim Llob in Khadra's novel Morituri: "Once past a police barrier we cross a downtown neighborhood with the air of an Indian cemetery, bypass a part of Bab el Oued where the simple folk fornicate ardently to keep themselves warm, and climb the sinuous road which leads to the city heights. Without warning the hovels vanish and we burst upon a little Eden bedecked with opulent villas, Swiss chalets and hanging gardens ... `Hell! Just take a peek at those fortresses, Super.'"
Earlier in the novel, Llob "gaze(s) at the guru in the photo: twenty-eight years old. Never went to school. Never had work. Messianic peregrinations across Africa, preaching absolute virulence and an implacable hatred toward the entire world. And now here he was setting himself up as a righter of wrongs: thirty-four murders, two volumes of fatwa, a harem in every bush and a scepter in every finger."
One generally associates wretchedness of the kind Davis discusses with teeming Asian or sub-Saharan African cities, but it sounds as if Brahim Llob's Algiers is right up there. Or down there.
© Peter Rozovsky 2007
Australian crime fiction