THE BASTARDS OF PIZZOFALCONE by Maurizio de Giovanni

THE BASTARDS OF PIZZOFALCONE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Sent off to help rebuild a shattered police precinct, Lt. Giuseppe Lojacono finds a surprising degree of cohesion with the other misfits who share the station.

Even in Naples, some crimes are too bold to wink at, and when four police officers in the Pizzofalcone precinct report only half a rich drug haul and set up shop to sell the rest of it themselves, they’re booted off the force and replaced with four cops whose bosses particularly want to get rid of them. The lucky candidates are Officer Alessandra Di Nardo, a lesbian who likes guns so much she accidentally fired at a colleague at work; Cpl. Marco Aragona, a nepotistic hire who drives like a maniac when he’s not relaxing in a tanning bed; Warrant Officer Francesco Romano, who’s equally ready to get violent with suspects and his wife; and Lojacono himself, who’s been persona non grata ever since his striking debut (The Crocodile, 2013). Not even genial Commissario Luigi Palma expects the quartet to make beautiful music together, but their peccadilloes miraculously complement rather than reinforce each other. And a good thing too, because their first case is no joke: the murder of wealthy, much-loved Cecilia De Santis, bashed to death by one of the dozens of souvenir glass globes she collected. Her philandering husband, notary Arturo Festa, is the obvious suspect, but he was disporting himself in Sorrento with his current inamorata, sexy accountant Iolanda Russo. When the victim’s missing silver, which provides an alternative motive, is discovered in a nearby dumpster, Lojacono and his new mates know they’re in for the long haul. The wide-ranging investigation will bring them up against an apparent case of sexual slavery and a rash of suicides, but de Giovanni (The Bottom of Your Heart, 2015, etc.) provides satisfyingly logical answers to every riddle.

Despite the Neapolitan setting, the crew of mismatched cops may remind you of similar teams in Sweden, New York, or Hollywood. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Pub Date: April 5th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-60945-314-5
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Europa Editions
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2016




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