Salvador, Bahia - an ill wind is blowing through the old quarter of the city. Since the arrival of Gringa, everything has been going wrong. Maria Aparecida, the queen of the slums, has disappeared; one-eyed Tonio has stopped singing; Ze and Manuel are feverish; and Mama Lourdes, the clairvoyant, can only predict bad news. The area is dying - one by one its children are abandoning sleepy Bahia to follow their fortunes in the big cities of the south. The bittersweet lament of Bahia Blues draws the reader into the heart of modern-day Brazil - amid the squalor of a Rio de Janeiro shantytown, along the lively streets of Sao Paolo, and within the cells of Canju, the prison of Bahia.