Books by Howard Curtis

SOUL OF THE BORDER by Matteo Righetto
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 11, 2019

"There's an archetypal tale of danger and family to be found in this novel, but some of the background details don't work nearly as harmoniously."
A young woman takes up her absent father's tobacco-smuggling business in Italian writer Righetto's first novel to be translated into English. Read full book review >
THE COLD SUMMER by Gianrico Carofiglio
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 4, 2018

"Solving this case, Carofiglio shows us, requires a leap into the darkness."
"The worst part isn't seeing the bodies.…The worst part is breaking the news to the victims' relatives. Especially if the victims are children." Read full book review >
RETURN TO THE DARK VALLEY by Santiago  Gamboa
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 19, 2017

"A complex, challenging story that speaks to the terror and dislocation of the age."
Or, love and loss in a time of ruin. Read full book review >
THE PRINCIPLE by Jérôme  Ferrari
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 28, 2017

"An elegant, cheerless meditation on how even the brightest people can find it in themselves to accommodate evil on the way to annihilation."
Prix Goncourt-winning novelist Ferrari continues his program of interrogating history to expose brittle truths about our nature. Read full book review >
THE CAROUSEL OF DESIRE by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 20, 2016

"Middling literary erotica: not quite Kundera but raw enough to satisfy a curious teenager."
"He had made love to her so well that she hated him": a steamy Belgian bestseller makes its way across the pond. Read full book review >
THE PENALTY AREA by Alain Gillot
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 6, 2016

"A slim, understated novel of nicely drawn vignettes, this is more consommé than bisque and might leave some readers unsatisfied."
A boys soccer coach in Sedan, France, temporarily takes in his sister's son and finds he may have the "little nugget" his team needs to excel. Read full book review >
GUYS LIKE ME by Dominique Fabre
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"Fabre lacks the alchemy to make ordinary lives extraordinary."
A Parisian reflects on his life in this subdued mood piece from a prolific French author (The Waitress Was New, 2008).Read full book review >
THE BROTHERHOOD OF BOOK HUNTERS by Raphaël Jerusalmy
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 4, 2014

"Literate. Brilliant. Entertaining."
Reaching back to the tumultuous 15th century, Jerusalmy chronicles a fictional tale of real-life brigand/poet François Villon, dispatched to find The Brotherhood of Book Hunters. Read full book review >
TRAITORS TO ALL by Giorgio Scerbanenco
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 3, 2014

"Carrua is right on the money when he tells Lamberti, '[y]ou want to eat up the criminals.' This illegal doctor's righteous fury comes to a head with the most admirable character in the cast facing a long prison term."
After three years in prison for euthanasia, Dr. Duca Lamberti (A Private Venus, 2014) returns to the practice of medicine in an equally unlawful and even more sordid way in this second volume of the noirish Milano Quartet, first published in Italy in 1966. Read full book review >
A PRIVATE VENUS by Giorgio Scerbanenco
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2014

"The first volume in Scerbanenco's Milano Quartet is a blast from the past, a sleek, stripped-down reminder of the fast, brutal days of Continental noir. Sensitive souls will notice that the author's attitude toward the LGBT community has dated in more glaring ways."
A disgraced doctor's ticket to redemption requires him to rescue a young man even more lost than he is in this slice of noir first served in Italy in 1966 and finally translated into English. Read full book review >
THE LOST GIRLS OF ROME by Donato Carrisi
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 19, 2013

"A powerful psychological drama."
With references to the Monster of Florence, a medieval serial murderer, and a secret Vatican sect, Carrisi's (The Whisperer, 2012) second literary thriller draws readers into a labyrinth of evil. Read full book review >
LOVERS by Daniel Arsand
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 31, 2012

"The momentous content doesn't quite fit in this straitjacket form. "
Gay love and sacrificial death in pre-revolutionary France; a minimalist offering from the French author (The Land of Darkness, 2001, etc.). Read full book review >
IN THE SEA THERE ARE CROCODILES by Fabio Geda
Released: Aug. 9, 2011

A nonfiction novel, recounted in part from contemporary oral history. Read full book review >
THE SHADOW OF WHAT WE WERE by Luis Sepúlveda
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 2011

"The past is present in this political novel, which requires greater knowledge of Chile's politics and recent history than American readers are likely to bring to it."
Former Chilean revolutionaries reunite as bumbling conspirators in this novella by Sepúlveda (The Name of a Bullfighter, 1996, etc.). Read full book review >
ZULU by Caryl Férey
by Caryl Férey, translated by Howard Curtis
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: May 1, 2010

"A horrifying, eye-opening thriller."
A crime novel set in post-apartheid South Africa, and the winner of the French Grand Prix for Best Crime Novel of 2008. Read full book review >
TIERRA DEL FUEGO by Francisco Coloane
Released: Dec. 1, 2008

"Much-honored Chilean author Coloane (1910-2002) captures the geographical and psychological extremity of his native grounds in beautiful language, well translated by Curtis."
Nine tales of greed and hardship set in the harsh, unforgiving landscape of southern Chile's islands. Read full book review >
MARY OF NAZARETH by Marek Halter
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2008

"Despite such digressive longueurs as Miriam's extended stay with the Essenes, and spotty character development—Miriam's hysteria occasionally undermines her modernity—a lively re-imagining of the New Testament."
Mary speaks out, dispelling rumors that she's a wimp, in Halter's latest Bible-based historical novel (Lilah, 2006, etc.). Read full book review >
THE LOST SAILORS by Jean-Claude Izzo
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2007

"Slow-building drama with a tragic denouement as inevitable and deadly as any storm at sea."
Sailors can be more lost on land than they ever were at sea, suggests this moody drama from French novelist Izzo (Solea, 2007, etc.). Read full book review >
SOLEA by Jean-Claude Izzo
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 15, 2007

"A story like this can't possibly end well. But poetry-spouting Fabio goes out in a blaze of glory that makes the trilogy's capstone its least nihilistic entry."
The final installment of Izzo's Marseilles trilogy plunges ex-cop Fabio Montale into an even deeper well of corruption than the first two (Total Chaos, 2005; Chourmo, 2006). Read full book review >
WHO IS LOU SCIORTINO? by Ottavio Cappellani
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 2007

"A hip and funny take on mob warfare, with very little gusto lost in translation."
Who's the boss? That's the real question as two generations of Mafiosi tangle in Sicily. Read full book review >
A WALK IN THE DARK by Gianrico Carofiglio
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

"A probing tale of justice deferred."
A successful lawyer in Bari quixotically brings a civil suit for assault against the son of the judge who handles many of his own appeals in this Italian bestseller first published there in 2003. Read full book review >
CHOURMO by Jean-Claude Izzo
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Sept. 1, 2006

"A bitter, sad and tender salute to a place equally impossible to love or leave. Like George Pelecanos, Izzo connects to individual lives large-scale social, economic and political forces most often encountered in op-ed columns."
Like the eponymous slaves who powered Roman galleys, the neighbors who pull together hoping against hope for escape fuel the second installment of Izzo's Marseilles trilogy. Read full book review >
LILAH by Marek Halter
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 27, 2006

"Action-packed scripture."
An Old Testament love triangle: the final installment of Halter's bestselling trilogy of Biblical heroines, this book features his brightest star. Read full book review >
TOTAL CHAOS by Jean-Claude Izzo
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 1, 2005

"For better or worse, the title of this melancholy, high-energy bloodbath is just perfect. One can only wonder what new atrocities are left for the second and third installments, both due next year."
Ten years after its success in France, the first installment of Izzo's ultra-noir Marseilles trilogy finally arrives in English translation. Read full book review >
ZIPPORAH, WIFE OF MOSES by Marek Halter
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 1, 2005

"Affecting biblical drama scaled down to human dimensions. "
Fanciful version of the fatal encounter between African princess Zipporah and young Moses, in a breathy, atmospheric translation. Read full book review >
COMING BACK by Edoardo Albinati
NON-FICTION
Released: Sept. 15, 2004

"A solid contribution to a rising genre: the noncombatant's war memoir."
Tough travels in a religion-haunted, ruined land. Read full book review >
SARAH by Marek Halter
Released: May 4, 2004

"Halter fleshes out the scriptural account with rich and credible portraits of contemporary life and history, even if his narration ('There was a quivering in her belly that had nothing to do with fear or anger') occasionally descends to the level of the bodice-buster."
The prizewinning French author re-creates the story of Abraham and Sarah and the unlikely steps that led to their giving birth to both Judaism and the Jewish people. Read full book review >
THE OFFICERS’ WARD by Marc Dugain
Released: Nov. 1, 2001

"Curiously light, an herbal teacup of the grim horrors drunk by the gallon by predecessors long ago."
First-novelist Dugain's return to WWI, winner of the Prix des Libraires, offers quietly extended moments of seeming authenticity, then ends not in ashes but in soap. Read full book review >