Author – Alessandro Perissinotto (translated by Howard Curtis)
Published – 2011 (UK)
Genre – Crime fiction
This is the English translation of a title originally published in 2006. Thanks to @hersilia_press for the review copy.
The book is narrated by Anna Pavesi, she’s in her late thirties, recently single and living in an apartment she shares with her cat. The book opens to a gripping scene as in the middle of the night Anna is struggling to dig through the ground on the outskirts of an industrial park to uncover a dead body. From there it shifts from the present tense to the past as she recalls the circumstances that brought about her current situation. There are further snippets from the present peppered through the book, reminding you of the (almost) ultimate outcome of the story.
Anna is a psychologist by profession but suffering some recent financial difficulties she agrees to help investigate the mysterious disappearance of the body of a young woman who died in a road accident. The incident happened in a small town on the outskirts of Milan, which Anna finds is a seedy area that seems to be perpetually shrouded in fog and has a good number of prostitutes plying their trade at the roadside.
Surprisingly for Italian crme fiction this lacks a high body count or even much in the way of violence of any sort. The story is slow to develop and the fog of the plain outside Milan seems to be echoed in the sordid goings on that Anna uncovers.
The brighter part of the story is Anna’s home in Bergamo and the flavour of this is more traditionally Italian. Anna herself seems to be dealing with her situation with a fair amount of equanimity but to the reader her single suppers shared with her cat and her various sexual exploits make her seem quite a sad character. Nevertheless she has a lot of determination and sticks with her investigation both when her employer seems to loose interest and when it appears that the outcome may have serious personal consequences.
You can read another review over at Crime Scraps Review.
Score – 3/5