The Bastards of Pizzofalcone

The Bastards of Pizzofalcone

Book - 2016
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"They've made a fresh start at the Pizzofalcone precinct of Naples. They fired every member of the investigative branch after they were found guilty of corruption. Now, there's a group of detectives, a new commissario, and a new superintendent. The new cops immediately find themselves investigating a high-profile murder that has the whole town on edge. Heading the investigation is Inspector Lojacono, known as "the Chinaman," a cop with a checkered past who is currently riding a reputation as a crack investigator after having captured a serial killer known as "The Crocodile." Lojacono's partner is Aragona, who wants to be known as "Serpico," but the name doesn't stick. Luigi Palma, a.k.a. "Gigi," is the Commissario, Francesco Romano, known as "Hulk," is the slightly self-deluded lieutenant."--Amazon.
Publisher: New York : Europa Editions, 2016
Copyright Date: ♭2015
ISBN: 9781609453145
160945314X
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY DEGIOVA 2016
Characteristics: 323 pages ; 21 cm
Additional Contributors: Shugaar, Antony

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dbedn
Oct 27, 2016

An excellent crime novel written like a true novel. The language is descriptive and mature unlike so many other crime novels written like a newspaper article. The pictures in the prose are good enough to recommend the novel even without its intricate plot line.

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gvenkatesh
Oct 08, 2016

The author is one of the best in contemporary Italian noir/crime fiction but may have become a victim of his own success by underachieving to the high expectations set by his earlier work.

Following the extremely well written Commissario Ricciardi series that included a rich tapestry of events and characters and depths of human condition that made them very satisfying to read, this novel seems very diluted in content going down to the pop level of Camilleri's Montalbano series. This is not necessarily a negative thing in the absolute given the popularity and commercial success of the latter. But compared to his earlier works, it might come as a bit of a disappointment to those that have read them.

The premise of the "bastardi" brought together brings up potential for a number of colorful characters. As the first book of what is likely to be the next series, the author spends some time setting up their characters which, in theory, should lead to a richer series than the single-protagonist dominated Ricciardi or Montalbano type of novels. The author keeps his signature structure of interspersing the detective work with soliloquy from the unidentified perpetrator challenging the reader to guess the identity as the novel progresses with much scope for misdirection. However, it is still single-protagonist (Lt. Lojacono) dominated while the other characters serve as caricatured props as if in a TV series.

There is much less "noir" quality in this novel than his earlier work and this is a disappointment. It is more in the direction of Lt. Columbo than following the rich tradition of Italian noir from the likes of Giorgio Scerbanenco in the past to the contemporary and extremely powerful Gomorrah series.

Nevertheless, the novel is enjoyable and a pleasant read. The novel also benefits from an excellent translation into English that does not distract from the content unlike so many other Italian novels in this genre.

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