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The Financial Times: "[a] vivid and astringent novel"

Date: Jun 21 2013

After a bruising encounter with the Sicilian Mafia, Detective Inspector Giuseppe Lojacono, accused of collusion with criminals, has damaged both his prospects and his relationship with his wife and daughter.

Transferred to Naples, he finds himself persona non grata. But his stalled career is soon active again when the mutilated bodies of teenagers are discovered around the city, victims of a murderer the locals call “The Crocodile”. The police are dismissing the killings as Camorra hits, but, never one to accept straightforward solutions, the disgraced detective demurs, and finds himself up against a truly malign nemesis.

The Naples we are plunged into in de Giovanni’s vivid and astringent novel is a phantasmagoric place, and it is the acute sense of locale that transforms the piece (imaginatively translated from the Italian by Antony Shugaar) from standard police procedural into something rich and strange.

-Barry Forshaw