Here Comes Italian Noir: Glass Souls By Maurizio De Giovanni
Maurizio De Giovanni was born in Naples in 1958 and has spent the majority of his life living and working there. In 2005 he decided to join a Porsche Italia competition reserved for giallo novelists, and that’s where he came up with the character of Commissario Ricciardi, main protagonist of his first short story, “I vivi e I morti”. This was the start of his career as a writer.
Glass Souls, the newly translated novel by the author features the same character: This is the eighth entry in Maurizio de Giovanni’s internationally bestselling Commissario Ricciardi series.
In the abyss of a profound personal crisis, Commissario Ricciardi feels unable to open himself up to life. He has refused the love of both Enrica and Livia and the friendship of his partner, Maione. Contentment for Ricciardi proves as elusive as clues to the latest crime he has been asked to investigate.
The beautiful, haughty Bianca, countess of Roccaspina, pleads with Ricciardi to investigate a homicide that was officially closed months ago. In the tense, charged atmosphere of 1930s Italy, where Benito Mussolini and his fascist thugs monitor the police closely, an unauthorized investigation is grounds for immediate dismissal and possible criminal charges. But Ricciardi’s thirst for justice cannot be sated.
Commissario Ricciardi is one of our favorite characters and the series is a must-read.
In Detective Ricciardi’s eyes, all crime has one of two causes, hate and hunger. We really loved this protagonist’s character as he is haunted by ghosts of the past and his troubled psyche intrigues other characters in the book.
The historical details or this police procedural mystery, along with elegant translation of Antony Shugaar give the story a bit of a literary flavor. This is more of a sophisticated mystery and author at times shows a witty taste in writing dialogues.
Overall, this is a must read for those interested in exploring International Noir.