The Africa Report

The Hamburger That Killed Jorge

translated by Alex Macbeth Ethale Publishing/bahati Books

- Henry Brefo

Mélio Tinga’s eponymous short story, ‘The Hamburger That Killed Jorge’, is part of this debut anthology of Mozambican crime stories by emerging voices experiment­ing with the crime narrative. Jorge, an adorable and quirky stickler for daily routines and his customary lunch of fish and tomato hamburger, witnesses an argument between two men. The commotion suddenly takes a fatal turn, ending in a brutal murder. Jorge’s life now hangs in the balance as the perpetrato­r of this dreadful crime seeks to silence him. In Alex Macbeth’s translatio­n from Portuguese into English the language colourfull­y maintains its distinctiv­e tone and vibrant prose. The narrative elegantly pulsates with verve and fast-paced action, and the author’s humorous tone and simplicity of expression brings to the dark genre of crime fiction a sparkle of human warmth. With its 14 companion stories drawn from 60 submission­s, The Hamburger That Killed Jorge is truly a welcome contributi­on to the growing genre of urban noir.

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