Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Pimp's Notes

by Giorgio Faletti, translated by Antony Shugaar,  Farrar Straus and Giroux July 2012

If you like mysteries and want something different read this.

The protagonist in this Italian thriller is Bravo, a shadowy underworld figure who makes his living as a procurer of women for the rich and powerful.  The story is set in the corrupt society that was Italy in the 1970s.  The prime minister, Aldo Muro has been captured by Red Brigades and will soon be murdered. Politicians, police and the Mafia work hand in hand for their own gain.   Right in the middle of this mess you have our most unusual antihero Bravo.  He has been castrated by an unknown assailant (not a spoiler as this fact is announced in the first sentence of the book).  He is wounded not only physically but also spiritually.  We do not learn his back-story until almost the end of the novel and it is a shocker.

The narrative moves slowly until some murders at a high society weekend where a millionaire and a state senator are killed.  Bravo unwittingly finds himself right in the middle of this action.  Then things take off and the twists and turns that the story makes rank it right up there with the best crime noirs.  I surely could not figure out where the story was going.  It is a fairly violent story with plenty of murders throughout.  I found myself rooting for Bravo to prevail in this tale, I think because everyone else in the story was so corrupt and had such self serving motives.  I loved the ending of the story, I know it might be described as contrived but I enjoyed it.

This novel was translated from the Italian and does read well.  After a slow start the story flies along and the characters are well developed.  The author, Giorgio Faletti, has written several mystery thrillers which are very popular in Europe including the number one best seller I Kill.  I enjoyed this story well enough to ensure that I will read more of his work.  If you like mysteries and want something different read this.

I read a copy of this novel provided by the publisher.

1 comment:

Zibilee said...

This does sound like a very different and exceptionally interesting crime novel, and I am coming to realize that I enjoy these books a lot more than I once did. The protagonist sounds like he was a very interesting character to get familiar with, and I enjoyed your review a lot. This is something that I would like to read sometime soon. Very expressive and thoughtful review!