As Naples prepares for its holiday celebrations, behind the facade of order and happiness imposed by the fascist regime, lurks terrible poverty and blinding desperation. In a luxurious apartment on the Mergellina beach lie the bodies of a fascist militia officer and his wife. A statuette of San Giuseppe, patron saint of workers, lies in pieces on the floor near their bodies. At the scene of the crime, Ricciardi, who has the dubious gift of being able to see and hear the last seconds in the lives of those who have suffered a violent death, listens to the enigmatic last words of the couple. Accompanied by his faithful partner, Brigadier Raffaele Maione, and once more troubled by two women who compete for his attentions, the Commissario will have to trace a wide and frenetic arc through the streets of Naples in order to uncover the truth.
“De Giovanni has created one of the most interesting and well-drawn detectives in fiction, and this book is a real treat that should not be missed by crime lovers.”—The Daily Beast
“Impossible to resist.”—Crimetime UK
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 In 2005, he won a writing competition for unpublished authors with a short story set in the thirties about Commissario Ricciardi, which was then turned into the first novel of the series.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.