THE NEAPOLITAN STREAK by Timothy Holme

THE NEAPOLITAN STREAK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A convoluted, terrorist-heavy, mildly amusing first case for Inspector Achille Peroni, a Neapolitan ""Rudolph Valentino of the police"" whose beat is, however, in the North. Verona--where the 74-year-old head of the town's leading fascist family disappears, then turns up dead, claimed as a victim of the Red Brigade. And then the unstable son of the town's leading Communist family disappears. Did this terroristic Communist scion kill the old fascist general? Or is the politics just a cover for shady goings-on in the general's family? And what about the legend that these two families are descended from the Montagues and Capulets, thus destined to feud? More bodies will surface (the general's son and over-curious nephew). Peroni will learn of the general's private plans for a fascist coup-brigade. The Communist terrorist will kill himself in a church before agile Peroni can capture him. And a Romeo & Juliet love affair will indeed be bared. But the final unraveling involves still another political splinter group; and, in sorry double-clichÉ fashion, the villains turn out to be Peroni's boss and his new lady-love. Overdone, derivative plotting, then--but most of the dialogue is sleek, the atmospherics are nice, and Peroni (rather bland himself) is given a lively sister with a family of noisy little kibbitzers. A flawed but agreeable debut.

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1980
Publisher: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan