cover image Shadows on the Lake

Shadows on the Lake

Giovanni Cocco and Amneris Magella, trans. from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli. Penguin, $16 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-14-312725-3

Husband-and-wife Cocco and Magella’s strong series kickoff introduces police inspector Stefania Valenti, a devoted, if plausibly imperfect, single mother, who’s fiercely dedicated to the pursuit of justice. The excavation of a tunnel linking the Lake Como region with Switzerland has engendered controversy. A local Italian legislator has publicly denounced the project’s destruction of acres of forest and warns of the traffic congestion the completed roadway would cause. When the demolition of an abandoned cottage uncovers human skeletal remains, the evidence suggests that they belong to someone who was murdered decades earlier. Despite the paucity of clues, even as to the victim’s identity, Valenti persists in investigating the cold case, though her interview of a member of the influential Cappelletti family, whose property values have increased as a result of the tunnel project, ruffles some feathers. Police procedural and whodunit elements combine nicely with a complex, three-dimensional lead. [em]Agent: Loredana Rotundo, Loredana Rotundo Literary Agency (Italy). (Feb.) [/em]