A Private Venus

Giorgio Scerbanenco, trans. from the Italian by Howard Curtis. Hersilia (Dufour, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-0-9563796-4-1
A lost Italian noir classic from 1966 finally makes its way into English translation. Born of a Russian father and Italian mother, Scerbanenco—once called the "human typewriter"—was said to be more prolific than Simenon, although much of his output was in the romance genre. During the three years before his 1969 death, however, he wrote a series of terse, unsentimental crime thrillers featuring Dr. Duca Lamberti, starting with this one. Just released from prison after euthanizing a dying patient, Duca reluctantly agrees to treat a young alcoholic, only to find that the youth's backstory involves a murdered Milan streetwalker, a white slavery ring, pornography, and torture. "He wouldn't have devoted a single minute to this whole business if he hadn't sensed the ruthless, violent hand of the Mafia behind it." This edition also includes a brief autobiographical memoir from a noir writer richly deserving rediscovery. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/20/2012
Release date: 08/29/2012
Book - 281 pages - 978-0-9563796-7-2
Paperback - 241 pages - 978-1-61219-335-9
Ebook - 141 pages - 978-1-61219-336-6
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