cover image The Master of Knots

The Master of Knots

Massimo Carlotto, trans. from the Italian by Christopher Woodall. Europa (Penguin, dist.), $15 (144p) ISBN 978-1-60945-180-6

Brooding, sexual, and connected to Italy%E2%80%99s socio-political climate, Carlotto%E2%80%99s (The Goodbye Kiss) seventh book published in English falls into the current world of crime fiction. Like Gone Girl, or Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the book is interested in how messiness of crime, with no taste for likable characters. Marco Buratti, Max the Memory, and Beniamino Rossini are former felons turned unlicensed detectives. In Carlotto%E2%80%99s latest installment of the Alligator Detective series, the trio must track down a gang of S&M filmmakers kidnapping women as slaves. As they navigate the secret world of S&M enthusiasts, they also must deal with the outbreak of political protests and police crackdowns. The book is less concerned with neat crime solving than it is with studying the lives of these three men. Carlotto%E2%80%99s tight prose makes for a quick and satisfying journey into a world absent of clear-cut morality. (Jan.)