Friday Finds: An Excerpt of ‘The Butcher of Casablanca’

The Butcher of Casablanca is Abdelilah Hamdouchi’s fourth crime novel available in English, following Bled Dry (tr. Benjamin Smith), Whitefly (tr. Jonathan Smolin), and The Final Bet (tr. Smolin):

The Butcher of Casablanca, translated by Peter Daniel and published by Hoopoe Fiction last month, follows Detective Hanash (of Bled Dry) as he tries to solve serial murders happening around Morocco’s biggest city.

The excerpt online opens:

He hummed a favorite tune as he went about his gruesome chore. When he was finished, he arranged the body parts in two garbage bags. Then he cleaned the floor, showered, and put on a change of clothes. He stretched out on the bed, lit a cigarette, and took a deep, delicious, triumphant puff. He had eliminated the thing that had been ruining his life and now all he had to do was to dispose of it.

His eyes darted back and forth apprehensively as the street narrowed to a cramped alleyway. He’d begun to imagine ghosts lurking in the darkness. He felt a surge of anger. He knew the source of his fear was the nauseating odor of decay- ing flesh assaulting his nostrils.

He jerked to a halt, extracted a cigarette from his pocket, and lifted the lighter to the tip, as if smoking would help him lug the bags. He changed his mind, picked up the bags, and lurched forward, wheezing heavily as he peered nervously into the dark recesses.

Keep reading at the Hoopoe Fiction website.