Death's Dark Abyss

Death's Dark Abyss

5.0 2
by Massimo Carlotto
     
 

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"A narrative voice that is cold, heartless, but, in a creepy way, fascinating."-The New York Times


A riveting drama of guilt, revenge, and justice, Massimo Carlotto's Death's Dark Abyss tells the story of two men and the savage crime that binds them. During a robbery, Raffaello Beggiato takes a young woman and her child hostage

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Overview



"A narrative voice that is cold, heartless, but, in a creepy way, fascinating."-The New York Times


A riveting drama of guilt, revenge, and justice, Massimo Carlotto's Death's Dark Abyss tells the story of two men and the savage crime that binds them. During a robbery, Raffaello Beggiato takes a young woman and her child hostage and later murders them. Beggiato is arrested, tried, and sentenced to life. The victims' father and husband, Silvano, is undone by his loss. He plunges into an ever-deepening abyss until the day, years later, when the murderer seeks his pardon, and the wounded Silvano turns predator as he ruthlessly plots his revenge.

Editorial Reviews

Patrick Anderson
I happened to read Death's Dark Abyss just after reading Cormac McCarthy's powerful new novel, The Road. It's a monumentally bleak portrait of the end of civilization, but McCarthy does offer a faint glimmer of hope at the end. Carlotto does not. At one point, when Silvano is tempted by compassion, he digs out the autopsy photos of his wife and son, "and the hate came back to comfort and reassure me." For Carlotto, hate and revenge trump love and forgiveness every time. His is a nihilistic vision but, if you are drawn to noir, a compelling one.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Carlotto (The Goodbye Kiss), who served time for a murder he didn't commit before becoming a writer, has crafted a subtle and disturbing tale of the effects of violence on its survivors. Wine salesman Silvano Contin's unremarkable but happy life is irrevocably shattered when a pair of bank robbers seize his wife and young son as hostages, and then execute them. Unable to endure much human contact, Contin ekes out a living repairing shoes. When the one murderer who was apprehended is diagnosed with cancer, he seeks Contin's assistance in gaining an early release from incarceration. The widower's desire for justice-and the identity of the killer who escaped scot-free-leads him to make some unusual decisions and propels him down a very dark road. The author manages to make Contin's descent into hell plausible and heartbreaking, and devises an ingenious and even touching resolution. (Oct.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Carlotto (The Goodbye Kiss), the master of Mediterranean noir, has fashioned a dark, twisted tale of retribution. Fifteen years earlier, Silvano Contin's wife and only child were murdered by robbers, one of whom made off with the loot while the other got a life sentence. Now lifer and cancer-striken Raffaello Beggiato (convicted of the murders, despite his denials) seeks a pardon. Contin-still tormented by his wife's dying words-refuses to support Beggiato's request until he sees it as a means of identifying the other robber. Sitting among his family's stored belongings, Contin talks to his dead wife about his plan, which turns increasingly dark and violent. In his laconic style, Carlotto-himself imprisoned for years for a crime he didn't commit-provides twists and turns in his story, which ultimately explores the issue of justice. A disturbing, haunting novel. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Carlotto (The Goodbye Kiss, 2006) presents a battle of wits between a childless widower and the criminal who killed his wife and son. Fifteen years ago, a robbery gone wrong left two hostages dead and sent Raffaello Beggiato to prison for life because he refused to name the accomplice he insisted had pulled the trigger. Now that Raffaello's been diagnosed with cancer, he writes to Silvano Contin begging his forgiveness so that his attorney can add Silvano's letter to Raffaello's petition for a pardon. Silvano, who's spent every day since the robbery in an agony of grief and despair, initially refuses the importuning of Raffaello, his mother, his attorney, the prison chaplain and a meddlesome former juror. If Raffaello still won't identify the partner who got off scot-free with the proceeds of the robbery, he tells them indignantly, let him rot in jail. But the news that the rest of Raffaello's sentence is likely to be suspended so that he can receive medical treatment turns Silvano's thoughts murderous. Alternating between Raffaello and Silvano's viewpoints-the latter translated far more convincingly than the former-Carlotto shows Silvano plotting to trick Raffaello into revealing the name he's kept secret for 15 years-or to avenge his wife and son in an even more nasty and devious way. Beneath the conventions of Continental noir is a remarkable study of corruption and redemption in a world where revenge is best served ice-cold.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781933372181
Publisher:
Europa
Publication date:
10/15/2006
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
1,170,346
Product dimensions:
5.32(w) x 8.32(h) x 0.52(d)

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