Ricciardi is one of the most intriguing and unique figures to appear in crime fiction in recent years. He possesses the dubious gift of being able to see and hear the last seconds in the lives of those who have suffered a violent death. This ability makes him an unusually effective investigator but plagues him and renders human relationships almost impossible. He is a classic noir hero and the cursed son of a city that, for all its Mediterranean splendor, is a perfect noir city.
In this new installment in the Commissario Ricciardi series, Maurizio de Giovanni creates a large cast of unforgettable characters and a compelling, suspenseful plot that demonstrates once more why he is considered one of the best crime writers working today.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-09-14
- Reviewer: Staff
De Giovannis complex, lyrical seventh whodunit set in Fascist Italy (after Viper) finds Commissario Luigi Alfredo Ricciardi, a public safety officer in Naples who has been cursed with the ability to see images of the recently dead, even more miserable than usual after a romantic failure. Ricciardi gets some distraction from his personal woes after Tullio Iovine del Castello, a prominent gynecologist, takes a fatal fall from a top floor window of the general hospital of the royal university. Since the trajectory of the fall rules out an accident, the commissario and his loyal sidekick, Brigadier Raffaele Maione, look into the possibility of murder. De Giovanni adds psychological depth to the suspects, as shown in a section giving the perspective of a man who lost his wife during childbirth due to Castellos neglect. A searing look at the tortured soul of the lead makes this entry especially memorable. (Nov.)