cover image At the End of a Dull Day

At the End of a Dull Day

Massimo Carlotto, trans. from the Italian by Antony Shugaar. Europa, $16 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-60945-114-1

Recovering criminal Giorgio Pellegrini (who also appears in Carlotto's The Goodbye Kiss) can't seem to avoid trouble. In addition to owning and operating La Nena%E2%80%94a refined restaurant in Italy's Veneto region frequented by power players and other high-end clientele%E2%80%94he runs a top-secret prostitution ring with a woman who's not his wife. And when his lawyer, politician Sante Brianese, betrays him with a two million euro investment gone awry in Dubai, the former terrorist vows revenge and resumes his penchant for killing. One act of greed, deceit, or violence leads to another, as Pellegrini's ruthlessness grows more desperate. His narration allows gruesome glimpses into an unscrupulous psyche, alludes to the machinations of Italian politics, and reveals his penchant for kinky sex%E2%80%94although scenes are handled tastefully. In fact, Carlotto provides readers with just enough details to move this complex story along and, with a hint of irony, repeats the book's title throughout the text. This first English-language edition may be readers' first introduction to Carlotto, even though he wrote 1994's The Fugitive, a nonfiction account of the author's 1976 arrest and trial for a murder he didn't commit. (May)