cover image Out of Season: A Rocco Schiavone Mystery

Out of Season: A Rocco Schiavone Mystery

Antonio Manzini, trans. from the Italian by Antony Shugaar. Harper, $15.99 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-269649-6

Manzini’s engrossing third mystery featuring Deputy Police Chief Rocco Schiavone (after 2016’s Adam’s Rib) opens with a cargo van blowing a tire and veering off a wet, icy road in Italy’s mountainous Valle d’Aosta region into a stand of trees. The driver and his front seat passenger are killed almost instantly. It looks like a job for the highway police, until the authorities discover that the van has stolen license plates. Rocco and his motley crew of officers take over the case, which rapidly develops into a web of crimes—from money laundering to murder. The complex, plausible plot is peopled with authentic characters, most notably the wry, pot-smoking, disillusioned Rocco, who was born and raised in Rome. When asked why his superiors transferred him to this remote part of Italy, he replies: “Punishment... let’s just say that I got a little overenthusiastic.” His conversations with colleagues and suspects are sprinkled with wit and astutely shed light on Italy’s political and cultural conundrums. Readers will hope to see a lot more of Rocco. (Oct.)