Blood Curse: The Springtime of Commissario Ricciardi (Commissario Ricciardi Series #2)by Maurizio de Giovanni
Ricciardi has visions. He sees and hears the final seconds in the lives of victims of violent deaths. It is both a gift and a curse. It has helped him become one of the most acute and successful homicide detectives in the Naples police force. But all that horror and suffering has hollowed him out emotionally. He drinks and doesn’t sleep. Other than his loyal… See more details below
Ricciardi has visions. He sees and hears the final seconds in the lives of victims of violent deaths. It is both a gift and a curse. It has helped him become one of the most acute and successful homicide detectives in the Naples police force. But all that horror and suffering has hollowed him out emotionally. He drinks and doesn’t sleep. Other than his loyal partner Brigadier Maione he has no friends.
Naples, 1931. In a working class apartment in the Sanita’ neighborhood an elderly woman by the name of Carmela Calise has been beaten to death. When Ricciardi and Maione arrive at the scene they start asking the neighbors questions. No one wants to talk but slowly a few interesting facts slip out. Carmela Calise was moonlighting as a fortuneteller and moneylender. In her decrepit apartment she would receive clients, among them some of the city’s rich and powerful, predicting their futures in such a way as to manipulate and deceive. If economic ruin lurked in their futures, Calise was happy to help. For a price, of course. She had many enemies, those indebted to her, manipulated by her lies, disappointed by her prophesies or destroyed by her machinations. Murder suspects in this atmospheric thriller abound and Commissario Ricciardi, one of the most original and intriguing investigators in contemporary crime fiction, will have his work cut out for him.
“The combination of an unusual detective, historical setting and Italian opera was impossible to resist.”—Crimetime.co.uk
“Such detailed images in the novel that will haunt me for a long time to come”—Books and Writers
“A colorful novel that imparts a strong sense of time and place...there’s more than a touch of Agatha Christie in this tale”—Curious book fans
Commissario Ricciardi, first introduced in I Will Have Vengeance, sees the dead. They talk to him and tell him their thoughts. Ricciardi's "gift" helps solve crimes, but it isolates him from his colleagues. He can't burden them with the horror he sees around him every day. Besides, they'd think Ricciardi was crazy. A premise like this could make this novel unreal, but it doesn't. It's a well-crafted, ultimately moving crime novel set in 1931 Naples. When an old woman is battered to death, Ricciardi meets all sorts of characters in his search for a killer and a motive. Most of them see him, and the police, as their enemy. VERDICT This is a solid series with an intriguing detective, and fans will eagerly await the third volume, Everyone in Their Place: The Summer of Commissario Ricciardi, to be published in November.
Meet the Author
Maurizio de Giovanni lives and works in Naples. In 2005, he won a writing competition for unpublished authors with a short story set in the thirties about Commissario Ricciardi, which was then turned into the first novel of the series. His books have been successfully translated into French, Spanish and German, and are now available in English.
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