cover image A Mistake Incomplete

A Mistake Incomplete

Lorenzo Petruzziello. Magnusmade, $16.99 trade paper (344p) ISBN 978-1-7350-6542-7

Set mainly in Milan, Italy, this lively caper novel from Petruzziello (The Love Fool) briskly introduces its two protagonists. Stef, an aging lothario, has been reduced to pulling off robberies on the orders of a man one should not disobey. Stef’s occasional lover, Beatrice, an American who overstayed her student visa, now augments her salary at a local bar by providing companionship for a price. Late one evening, a stranger walks into the bar and orders a drink. He steps into the restroom, where Stef and Beatrice later find his inert body lying on the floor, a gash on his forehead. They quickly surmise he’s dead, and Stef, always wary of the police, decides they should get rid of the body by dumping it in the River Po. The pair believe their troubles are over until the man they thought was dead walks back into the bar. Has he come for revenge? Does he really not recognize them? Soon Stef and Beatrice are up to their necks in trouble. A full complement of coincidences, tenuous motives, and mistaken identities make this something of a screwball comedy. Petruzziello’s loving descriptions of Milan’s streets, galleries, and cafés are worth the price of admission. (Self-published)