Book two in the Commissario Ricciardi series. Ricciardi has visions. He sees and hears the final seconds in the lives of victims of violent deaths. It is both a gift and a curse. It has helped him become one of the most acute and successful homicide detectives in the Naples police force. But all that horror and suffering has hollowed him out emotionally. He drinks too much and sleeps too little. Other than his loyal partner, Brigadier Maione, he has no friends. We’re in Naples, 1931. In a working class apartment in the Sanita’ neighborhood an elderly woman by the name of Carmela Calise has been viciously beaten to death. Commissario Ricciardi and Brigadier Maione arrive at the scene and start asking questions. No one wants to talk but slowly the neighbors let a few interesting facts slip out. Carmela Calise was moonlighting as a fortuneteller and moneylender. In her decrepit apartment she would receive clients, among them some of the city’s rich and powerful, predicting their futures in such a way as to manipulate and deceive. If economic ruin lurked in their futures, Calise was happy to help. For a price, of course. She had many enemies, those who were indebted to her, or had been manipulated by her lies, disappointed by her prophesies or destroyed by her machinations. Murder suspects abound in this atmospheric thriller, and Commissario Ricciardi, one of the most original and intriguing investigators in contemporary crime fiction, has his work cut out for him.
Maurizio de Giovanni
Maurizio de Giovanni lives and works in Naples. In 2005, he won a writing competition for unpublished authors with a short story set in the thirties about Commissario Ricciardi, which was then turned into the first novel of the series. His books have been successfully translated into French, Spanish and German, and are now available in English for the first time.