Poisonville

Overview

Poisonville is a noir thriller par excellence-there's murder, moral ambiguity, and a protagonist less than heroic. In this #1 bestselling noir novel, however, the killer is not an individual but an entire system.

The heavily industrialized northeast, Italy's richest region, is undergoing dramatic change. It once drove the nation's economic boom, a regional superpower, affluent and arrogant, a land that abided only its own rules. But then the factory owners began moving their ...

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Poisonville

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Overview

Poisonville is a noir thriller par excellence-there's murder, moral ambiguity, and a protagonist less than heroic. In this #1 bestselling noir novel, however, the killer is not an individual but an entire system.

The heavily industrialized northeast, Italy's richest region, is undergoing dramatic change. It once drove the nation's economic boom, a regional superpower, affluent and arrogant, a land that abided only its own rules. But then the factory owners began moving their operations east, across the border to former soviet countries where labor was cheap and regulatory bodies absent. With the factories, the jobs, and the riches gone, new elements began insinuating themselves into the old system, and the Brahmin families of the northeast began employing increasingly violent methods to protect their status and their wealth. Once renowned for its economic might, the region is now infested by organized crime, trafficking of every commodity, including human, ranks of media personalities and politicians on the payrolls of rich families and mobsters, and an ongoing environmental catastrophe.

Welcome to Poisonville! Here, the young lawyer Francesco, heir to the region's second richest family, will have to decide between business as usual or a violent rupture with the ways of the past. The wrong choice could cost him his life.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Northeast Italy’s industrial pollution provides the backdrop for Carlotto (The Goodbye Kiss) and screenwriter Videtta’s outstanding fable of greed, corruption and moral abandonment. Filled with echoes of Dante’s Inferno, the book centers on the murder of Giovanna Barovier, a young attorney interning on the staff of respected lawyer Antonio Visentin, within days of her marriage to Visentin’s son, Francesco. Cheap Chinese imports and Italian industries exiled to former Soviet-bloc countries have led to a national downward spiral into dissolution paralleled and individualized by Francesco’s private search for Giovanna’s killer. First finding himself accused of a crime of passion, Francesco soon descends through level after level of human depravity, from theft and brutality through fraud to betrayals so heinous they shatter the soul. Truly little hope if any exists for those who enter this vicious journey into the abyss of human evil. (Oct.)
Library Journal
In Italy's heavily industrialized northeast, the atmosphere of corruption thickens as the economy worsens. The murder of lawyer Giovanna Barovier by an unknown lover just days before she is to marry Francesco Visentin, scion of one of the town's most prominent families, turns out to be part of a pattern of immorality. Both bereft at the loss of the woman he loves and enraged by her betrayal, lawyer Francesco uncovers a swarming nest of criminal activities as he seeks Giovanna's killer. A key player is the town's leading matriarch, the greedy and amoral Contessa Selvaggia Calchi Renier, who heads the Torrefranchi Foundation, a cultural entity that has become a powerful corporate consortium. The final revelation of Giovanna's murderer pales in the increasing accumulation of illegal, even deadly, activities. VERDICT Carlotto (Death's Dark Abyss) is the master of Mediterranean noir, but this collaboration with screenwriter Videtta results in fiction that becomes impersonal in its overwhelming darkness. The characterizations for which Carlotto has been justly praised are less dimensional here, save for the evil Contessa; still, northeast Italy holds promise as a setting for his future crime fiction.—Michele Leber, Arlington, VA
Kirkus Reviews
Screenwriter Videtta must have a calming effect on his collaborator, Italian noir proponent Carlotto (The Fugitive, 2007, etc.): The first fruit of their partnership is a whodunit, though a scorching one. The night before she's to marry Francesco Visentin, Giovanna Barovier warns her secret lover that she's going to tell Francesco all about him. The next morning Francesco finds her drowned in her bathtub. Inspector Mele and prosecutor Zan suspect the bridegroom himself of killing his bride, especially when well-connected Filippo Calchi Renier, the ex-lover who spent the hour after Francesco's bachelor party driving him around and insisting that Giovanna would never go through with the wedding, refuses to give him an alibi. So Francesco determines to find out exactly what Giovanna meant when she told her friend Carla Pisani that "she had become the slut of the man who had ruined her life." Since Giovanna was a lawyer who had worked for the firm run by Francesco's father Antonio, the most distinguished attorney in town, and since everyone within the city limits is committing adultery, fraud or both, Francesco's quest quickly entangles him in all the economic and civic corruption you'd expect the authors to find in Italy's ruthlessly industrialized Northeast. The English-language title, so much more suggestive to fans of American noir than the Italian title Nordest, perfectly encapsulates a Hammett-like world marked by greed, vice and betrayal all the way to the top of the food chain.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933372914
  • Publisher: Europa Editions, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/29/2009
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 748,715
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Massimo Carlotto was born in Padua, Italy. He is the author of The Goodbye Kiss (nominated for the Mystery Writers of America's prestigious Edgar Allan Poe award), Death's Dark Abyss, and The Fugitive, an autobiographical account of his time on the run after being falsely accused of murder. He is one of Italy's most popular authors and a major exponent of the Mediterranean noir novel.

Marco Videtta is a well-known screenwriter and the author of several successful Italian television series. Poisonville, written with Massimo Carlotto, is his first novel. He is the author of a new novel, an historical noir entitled Un bell'avvenire.

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