Iwill have Vengeance by Maurizio De Giovanni (the winter of Commissario Ricciardi )
Italian crime fiction
Translated by Anne Milano Appel
Maurizio De Giovanni is a Naples based writer,he won a short story prize for unpublished writers ,he won with a short story about Commissario Ricciardi ,this was later expanded into a novel ,this crime series is set in 1930’s Naples .Maurizio’s books have been translated into numerous languages and he won the Premio Camaiore prize .A prize awarded by city of Camaiore .This is second book I ve reviewed by the new Italian crime publisher Hersilla press .This book is the first in a series of four the fourth in the series won the prize .
So what is I will have vengeance about ,Well its set in 30’s Naples ,Il Duce is just coming to his full powers after nine years in the job , its 1931 and Riccciardi an elderly police man he is a man with his own secrets an aristocrat so money isn’t his motive to work ,a man that has no real friends .But when he sees a dead body he sees in his mind the exact moment of death .The victim Mastero Vezzi an italian tenor at the Naples opera house the best of his time .Now when I read this on the rear cover when the book dropped through my door ,I thought oh this is an “italian morse “classical music and a lonesome older cop but no this is paced different to the Dexter books more in line with classic books you see published by Hard case crime from the 30’s to 60’s .I looked up an interview with Maurizio here in Italian that I translated via google translate and the only character he likes are Ed McBain .So this book owes more to American crime than British crime fiction .Riccardi although he may see the crimes is a hard nose cop a loner “walking the line between the living and dead ” as Maurizio put in the interview I couldn’t put it better myself . in the tradition of McBain’s cops .His Bosses aren’t huge fans of his and this cases has pressure as the victim was a good friend of Il Duce ,who now in his ninth year and having used the Il Duce title for six of them years is slowly becoming a dictator and Ricciardi isn’t a fan about needs to find the killer .He has found the victim Vezzi although a true talent was hated backstage by the people in the opera house many of them had chance to kill him so it is down to the Commissaro to find who did it .Before he runs out time and someone else gets the case .
Luigi Alfredo Ricciardi was of medium height ,and slim .He had a dark complexion,striking green eyes,black hair slicked back with brilliantine sometimes a strand or two came free ,falling over his forehead ,and distractedly smoothed it back in place with an abrupt gesture .His nose was straight and thin,like his lips ,his small almost feminine hands were restless, always moving .He kept them in his pocket aware that they portray his emotion ,his tension.
we first meet the commissario Ricciardi .
Now I enjoyed this the first of four books about the Commissario the book is 211 pages longs so is fast paced the action keeps going as the pages turn .The setting seems good Maurizio has lived in the city all his life and is a huge fan of the city in his biography I ve read he has written piece on the home town club Napoli SSC .The dark Spector of Il Duce lurks in the background I feel this will grow over the books .The book was translated from Italian by Anne Milano Appel ,she has done a good job manage to keep the pace feel of the book .
Have you read this book?
Who is your favourite Italian crime writer ?