The author of the dark adventures of blues singer-turned-shamus Alligator (The Master of Knots, not reviewed, etc.) offers an even bleaker look into the no-regrets career of a thoroughly modern picaro.
“I always liked murder,” confides Giorgio Pellegrini, and proves it when he follows orders and executes his best friend Luca, a fellow radical working with him for Latin American terrorists. Heading back to Italy, Giorgio resolves to settle down the minute he’s out of prison. But his idea of settling—hanging out in a strip club, sleeping with every woman who’s willing and quite a few who aren’t—inevitably leads him farther and farther toward the wrong side of the law. Soon he’s joined forces with a dumb Milanese and a crooked cop to hold up an armored truck. When he realizes the job will take too many hands to be worth the promised take, he instantly starts to calculate how he can dispose of his accomplices, marveling at the list of eight people who’ll have to die to make the job worthwhile. Even a Veneto lawyer’s promise of a legal rehabilitation that will wipe out his criminal past soon has Giorgio plotting a new series of matter-of-fact betrayals, double-crosses and murders.
A nasty, explosive little tome warmly recommended to fans of James M. Cain for its casually brutal amorality and truly astonishing speed.