cover image Cold for the Bastards of Pizzofalcone

Cold for the Bastards of Pizzofalcone

Maurizio de Giovanni, trans. from the Italian by Antony Shugaar. Europa, $18 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-60945-525-5

In de Giovanni’s entertaining third police procedural set in Naples (after 2016’s Darkness for the Bastards of Pizzofalcone), the frigid winter weather is the main topic of conversation among the officers of the city’s Pizzofalcone precinct, “misfits rejected from all the other precincts,” until the murders of Biagio Varricchio and his sister, Grazia, whose bodies are found in the apartment they shared. Biagio was a promising biochemistry researcher in his early 20s; the attractive Grazia, five years younger, had been working for a modeling agency. Lt. Giuseppe Lojacono and Officer Alessandra Di Nardo must figure out who would have wanted both dead. Glimpses of the disturbing points of view of the main suspects raise the tension. Meanwhile, Giorgio Pisanelli, a deputy captain, looks into a separate case involving a possible serial killer, and other members of the squad investigate an allegation of child abuse. The personal stories of the many well-drawn characters, who offer touching vignettes of life in the messy, exuberant city, provide counterpoint to the crime solving. Armchair travelers will be satisfied. (May)