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Brazil. Rio De Janeiro. 1962. A time of dramatic political, social, and cultural clashes. Here, at the nexus of high society and low, style and street, pop music and passionate crime, a young tabloid photographer will do anything to get ahead – even protect a killer.

Beto Santera, raised on the struggling side of Rio, has just wrangled his first press photographer’s card. He has big dreams, small chances, and a chip on his shoulder. Beto is desperate to get ahead as a photographer but is scrambling to make ends meet.

His luck changes when he photos Sergio Fontes von Imperial, an outcast of a powerful Rio family, leaving the crime scene of a murdered popular Brazilian star. Beto makes a dark deal with Sergio, loses the negatives, and he gets access to the exclusive world of fashion, art, music, and nightlife. All the excitement Rio has to offer.

Then more killings occur. Beto is forced to make a choice, keep his career, or help catch the criminal.

TheBigThrill caught up to author Andrew Deutschto learn more about this intriguing thriller set in Rio De Janeiro,

Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?

Andrew Deutsch

Some years ago, I was developing a mystery project for a film studio on the life of Weegee, a crime photographer working in the 1940’s and 50’s. Unfortunately, another studio got their somewhat similar project going first, so mine was cancelled. But when I moved to Brazil for a few years, and spent time in Rio, I started exploring its history. That inspired me to take some of those story elements from the film and move them to a unique transitional environment and period in Rio’s history. From there, the basic story and characters just flowed out.

A novel is such a major undertaking; there’s the writing of it, of course, then you’re spending months and months revising, polishing, and then promoting it. How did you know this was the book you wanted to spend the next couple of years on?

I had the outline completed, and once I started writing the voices and actions of the characters, it quickly became, well, fun; whether because they seemed to create their own momentum, or reveal something I hadn’t realized before, or point to a subplot or beat that made them do things in surprising ways. I wanted to share the world I created. And many drafts later, here it is.

Were there any particular books, movies, or songs that were knocking around in your head while you were writing this one?

Missionary Stew by Ross Thomas for its great opening and snake-like story, and the Fredrico Fellini film, La Dolce Vita for its Roman nightlife.

What can you share about what you’re working on next?

I’m working on one now called ‘The Stepped Reckoner’. It’s a contemporary caper story about the theft of one of the first mechanical computers made in the 17th century and now located in a very eccentric museum of unusual scientific and anthropological items.

I also have a sequel to ‘Rio Flash ‘62’ roughly outlined.


Andrew Deutsch has been writing for motion pictures, television, and digital media for over 30 years. Most of that time based in Los Angeles, more recently in Brazil, and now in Northern California. He also is a photographer with photographs in private collections.