The second in the late Izzo’s Marseilles Trilogy
, following Total Chaos
(2005), once again finds Fabio Montale—now at looses ends, after quitting the corruption-riddled Marseilles police force—entangled in somebody else’s troubles. This time it’s his cousin, the beautiful Gélou, whose son has disappeared after running away to be with his Arab girlfriend. Fabio agrees to look for the boy, but he finds instead a hydra-headed tragedy—murder and deceit fueled by the racism that threatens to turn the once vibrant seaport town into a cauldron of violence. This hard-hitting series captures all the world-weariness of the contemporary European crime novel, but Izzo mixes it with a hero who is as virile as he is burned out. And lyrical, too, as when he muses on the infinite shades of blue visible to those who take the trouble to really look at the sea and the sky, “to caress the landscape with your eyes.” But Fabio quickly turns away from lyricism, stubbing out another cigarette and preparing for the worst that humankind has to offer. Bogart lives.
by Bill Ott