River of Shadows, By Valerio Varesi


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The Independent Culture

Commissario Soneri may be a new Italian detective on the block, but he's a familiar one. A cigar-smoker with a soft spot for Tortelli and wild boar, he's as suspicious of his superiors as he is of the criminals he's investigating.

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We're first introduced to a reflective Soneri the day after a severe storm hits the Po Valley. An elderly bargeman, Tonna, has gone missing, and when his brother falls out of a window, Soneri becomes convinced the two incidents are linked. Both men served in the fascist militia in the second world war, a fact that their communist neighbours may not yet have forgiven.

River of Shadows is translated with brio by Joseph Farrell, and we can look forward to at least another two installments from the Varesi stable.