Carte Blanche

Overview

"Carlo Lucarelli is the great promise of Italian crime writing."-La Stampa

April 1945, Italy. Commissario De Luca is heading up a dangerous investigation into the private lives of the rich and powerful during the frantic final days of the facist regime. The hierarchy has guaranteed De Luca their full cooperation, just so long as he arrests the "right" suspect. The house of cards built by Mussolini in the last months of WWII is collapsing and De...

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Overview

"Carlo Lucarelli is the great promise of Italian crime writing."-La Stampa

April 1945, Italy. Commissario De Luca is heading up a dangerous investigation into the private lives of the rich and powerful during the frantic final days of the facist regime. The hierarchy has guaranteed De Luca their full cooperation, just so long as he arrests the "right" suspect. The house of cards built by Mussolini in the last months of WWII is collapsing and De Luca faces a world mired in sadistic sex, dirty money, drugs and murder.

One of Italy's best-loved crime writers, Carlo Lucarelli has published over a dozen novels and short story collections.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Chaotic, fascist Italy is the tantalizing setting for the first entry in Lucarelli's (Almost Blue) De Luca trilogy. In the final year of WWII, while opportunism, desperation and resistance run rampant, Rehinard Vittorio, a well-connected Fascist, drug dealer and philanderer, is stabbed to death and castrated, leaving behind no dearth of suspects for the tortured insomniac, Commissario De Luca, to investigate. Was the murderer Rehinard's boss, the foreign affairs minister who's collaborating with the British, or the minister's morphine-addicted and sexually compromised daughter? How about the minister's political rival, whose wife and son are trying to buy their way into neutral Switzerland with drug profits? De Luca's a complex man who believes the police shouldn't be used as political goons, even as his investigation draws him deeper into the seedy underworld of a crumbling regime. His astutely rendered inner turmoil makes him an intriguing protagonist, but the other characters never spring to life. Lucarelli also breezes through the minutiae of Italian Fascism, which may leave American readers in the lurch, but these faults fail to overpower the trenchant grit of this excursion into Italian noir. (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Lucarelli's (Almost Blue) hard-boiled police thriller takes place in the last few months of World War II, as Mussolini's regime is collapsing. A wealthy man named Rehinard Vittorio is found stabbed and castrated in Bologna. Commissario De Luca is assigned the case and quickly realizes that drugs, sadistic sex, the SS, and dirty money are at the core of the murder. Vittorio was a member of the Fascist Republican Party and a regular at the Spiritist's Club. As De Luca digs deeper into the case and locates some of Vittorio's former associates, he realizes that his own former employment with the Political Police, a special division within the Brigata Ettore Muti, gives him a distinct advantage in acquiring information. Lucarelli is a well-known crime writer in Italy, where he has published more than ten novels and short story collections and hosts an unsolved-mystery television program. Though he excels at creating a noir atmosphere, his ending is predictable and somewhat disappointing. When deciding to purchase this novel, remember that it is the first of a trilogy. One hopes future titles will redeem this work's faltering finish. Recommended for libraries with a demand for Italian noir novels.-Lisa Rohrbaugh, East Palestine P.L., OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Duplicitous women and political cross-currents challenge a seasoned police detective. Italy, 1945. A volley of grenades disrupts both the funeral of a controversial figure named Tornago and the first case of Commissario De Luca, who has just moved over from the Political Police to the regular Milan force. De Luca's victim is Rehinard Vittorio, a prominent member of the Fascist Republican Party murdered at home. De Luca learns how futile it is to try to avoid politics when his Chief instructs him to catch the killer, whoever it is. "Even if he's a German?" De Luca asks. "Of course, a German, no," the Chief replies. "But that is obvious." Such irony and duplicity run throughout De Luca's probe. Tenacious cop Maresciallo Pugliese, inquisitive and thick-skinned, proves an apt foil. Since the murder weapon was a paper knife, De Luca shrewdly theorizes that the killer was a woman and the crime one of passion. Indeed, a handful of fiery woman are the likeliest suspects. Sonia Tedesco, the nymphet daughter of Vittorio's best friend, flirts with De Luca even as she halfheartedly denies an intimate relationship with the murdered man. And De Luca gets dangerously close to a seductive clairvoyant named Valeria Suvich at the possible expense of his career. The first volume in a trilogy by noir master Lucarelli (Almost Blue, 2001, etc.) is a smart and stylish crime yarn.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933372150
  • Publisher: Europa Editions, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 7/15/2006
  • Pages: 120
  • Sales rank: 657,041
  • Product dimensions: 5.46 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Carlo Lucarelli is one of Italy's best-loved crime writers. He teaches at Alessandro Baricco's Holden School in Turin and in Padova's maximum security prison. He conducts the program "Blue Night" on Italian network television, and his novels Almost Blue and Lupo Mannaro have both been made into films.
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Table of Contents

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