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Posted September 19, 2007
Stephen Savage's La Rincosa was a real eye-opener to this recent transplant to California from the East Coast. What I expected in a 'Suspense novel by a Golden State author was a surfer murder or a noir-ish Marlowe who's smarter and cooler than anyone else for a radius of at least four hundred miles. Instead, Savage has come up with a global picture of evil from pretty much around the world, focusing mainly on Europeans involved in crimes and misdemeanors of the Second World War aswell as some contemporary bad actors on the Continent still poisoned by the smoke and hatred that emanated from the hostilities. Nominally a tale about a suburban Californian detective's unwanted involvement in a monumental Nazi art heist during the war, the novel spreads its focus over a broader canvas-- war in general and man's inhumanity to man. And in true California style, the protagonist, Detective Martin Gilmore, has his own 'issues' played out in excruciating memories and nightmares of the VietNam War. Savage deftly manages a broad cast of characters rnging from a bumptious country police force to the sophisticated director of the Tesia Foundation, a Nazi hunting organization that seems to be a kissing cousin of the Mossad. The characters are a bit hard to keep track of, especially at the beginning, but we soon settle down with them for better or worse. Gilmore is always running at a frantic pace. Hence the title of the book. 'La Rincorsa' is an Italian horse-racing term where a late entry has to catch up with the pack that has already broken from the startung line. This is exactly what Gilmore does, never pausing for a glance behind. In the orocess, he discovers something about himself and that nothing and no one is necessarily what they seem, not even the 'good' guys. Welearn how the U.S.Army counter intelligence corps morphed inyo the inky black CIA only to play footsie with its sworn enemy, the KGB, with nearly disastrous results for Europe, the U.S., and the rest of the world. laRincorsa teaches us that wars don't end they judt simmer along only to burst into flame again decades later. Thisnovel shows how that happened with World War II and to some extent, the VietNam struggle. Perhaps Mr. Savage's next novel will tally up what the consequences of the bloody norass we're currently enmeshed in, may have in store for us. I'll belooking forward to that read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.