cover image A Pimp’s Notes

A Pimp’s Notes

Giorgio Faletti, trans. from the Italian by Antony Shugaar. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $26 (336p) ISBN 978-0-374-23140-8

Set in 1978, this unforgettable crime thriller from Faletti (I Kill) packs a considerable punch. In the prologue, the troubled narrator, who calls himself “Bravo” (“Being nameless just gave me an extra layer of shadow in which to cloak myself”), explains that having his penis sliced off by an unknown assailant has led to his embarking on a career as a pimp. The initial chapters detailing his activities in Milan move somewhat slowly, but things quickly accelerate after a multiple homicide at a financier’s villa whose victims include the financier and a member of parliament. The massacre may be linked to the Red Brigade’s abduction of former prime minister Aldo Moro. The police regard Bravo as a suspect, since three of the victims were young women known to Bravo. The story line takes some unexpected paths en route to a powerhouse ending that matches some of the best in near-contemporary noir. (Aug.)