—The New York Times
Ex-cop, loner, would-be bon vivant, Fabio Montale returns in this stunning conclusion to Jean-Claude Izzo’s Marseilles trilogy. Italian Mafiosi are hunting journalist-activist Babette Bellini, and the body count is growing as they close in on their prey. In desperation, Bellini seeks help from her former lover, Montale. Before he has time to shake off his most recent hangover, Montale is receiving sinister phone calls from men with Italian accents who want him to find Bellini for them. Like a woman he can’t leave, like strong liquor he can’t refuse, Marseilles lures Montale back into its violent embrace.
This is a Marseilles that will break your heart. A modern city and an ancient Mediterranean port, a melting pot of ethnicities and a cauldron boiling with human passions, a place of natural splendor and of sudden violence. In Izzo’s Marseilles new and old varieties of mafia connive and local organized crime insinuates itself into the fabric of legitimate business and politics.
Solea is Izzo’s heartfelt cry against the criminal forces corrupting his beloved city. It is his farewell to Marseilles and to its ideal protagonist, Fabio Montale. It concludes an unforgettable trilogy that epitomizes the aspirations and ideals of the Mediterranean noir movement.
“A talented writer who draws from the deep, dark well of noir.”
—The Washington Post
“When the urge for escapist reading simply cannot be denied, there are always foreign authors like Jean-Claude Izzo.”
—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times
“Just as Raymond Chandler and James Ellroy made Los Angeles their very own, so Mr. Izzo has made Marseilles so much more than just another geographical setting.”
Noir at its finest: compelling, sophisticated literature with a biting social edge.”
—Hirsh Sawhney, The Times Literary Supplement
Jean-Claude Izzo was born in Marseilles, France, in 1945. He achieved astounding success with his Marseilles Trilogy (Total Chaos, Chourmo, Solea). In addition to the books in this trilogy, his two novels (The Lost Sailors, and A Sun for the Dying) and one collection of short stories (Vivre fatigue) also enjoy great success with both critics and the public. Izzo died in 2000 at the age of fifty-five. The author's official Web site (in french) Izzo at Wikipedia Europa Editions and PEN World Voices 2007 collaborate on Black & Blue, homage to Jean-Claude Izzo Read from Black & Blue: An Introduction to Mediterranean Noir