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SOLEA by Jean-Claude Izzo


by Jean-Claude Izzo & translated by Howard Curtis

Pub Date: June 15th, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-933372-30-3
Publisher: Europa Editions

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).

In the two years since she left Marseilles for Italy, investigative reporter Babette Bellini has been compiling information for a series of articles that will reveal the monstrous extent of organized crime’s reach into European governments and their allegedly clean economies. Now that she’s finally ready to publish, the Mafia is on her trail—and, once she mails a package of computer disks to her old friend and sometime lover Fabio, on his as well. The anonymous phone caller’s threat couldn’t be plainer: “We’re going to kill your friends, Montale. All of them. One by one. Until you find the Bellini woman.” Since they’ve already begun by cutting the throat of Sonia De Luca, who’d come on to Fabio only the night before, they have to be taken seriously. But so does Hélène Pessayre, the police captain who demands to know Babette’s whereabouts so that she can protect her. So does Babette, who has plans of her own. And so does the rising chorus of the dead, as Fabio begins to lose the few friends he has left in Marseilles to the ruthless executioners.

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.