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The Deliverance of Evil (Commissario Balistreri Trilogy) [Hardcover]

Roberto Costantini , N.S. Thompson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
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Book Description

28 Mar 2013 Commissario Balistreri Trilogy (Book 1)

On 11 July 1982, Elisa Sordi was beautiful. Commissario Michele Balistreri was fearless. Italy was victorious.

A killer was waiting...

On 9 July 2006, with Sordi's case twenty-four years cold, and Balistreri haunted by guilt and regret, Italian victory returned.

And so did Sordi's killer...

But this time Michele Balistreri would be ready. This time he would fear no evil.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (28 Mar 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857389297
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857389299
  • Product Dimensions: 23.8 x 16.2 x 5.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 243,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Compelling drama ... The gripping strength of the novel lies in its passionate portrayal of a corrupt and criminal Italy, from seedy traffickers to the Vatican' The Times.

'One of those rare novels that brings together the best elements of literature ... and a nonstop thriller that drives readers relentlessly from first page to last' Jeffery Deaver.

'Utterly compelling' Peter May.

'Costantini pushes all the right buttons' Seven magazine.

'Sprawling, violent and beset by a tortured morality, this is a compelling vision of modern Italy' Mail on Sunday.

'A remarkably dark thriller ... The author combines the plotting and pace of international crime with the poise and prowess of literary fiction, striating the narrative with topical political insight' ShotsMag.

'[A] sprawling tale of personal and political corruption, expediency and revenge' Guardian.

'An ambitious book in which the corruption of the state, the police, business and the remnants of the aristocracy [...] are implicated in an effort to relate individual experience to the condition of the nation' Times Literary Supplement.

From the Inside Flap

Rome, 1982. On the evening of Italy's winning the football World Cup in Spain, an eighteen-year-old female employed by by the Vatican's housing agency disappears into thin air. The investigation is given to a young officer, Michele Balistreri. Headstrong and arrogant, Balistreri takes the case lightly, and it is only when a gruesome discovery is made on the banks of the Tiber that he realizes the terrible cost of his negligence. Rome, 2006. While Italy celebrates its first World Cup triumph in twenty-four years, journalist Linda Nardi is busy investigating a series of brutalities against young women. Although the murders have been pinned on a group of juveniles from the city's immigrant community, Nardi is exploring a more sinister possibility, at the personal request of the head of Rome's Special Foreign Section, Michele Balistreri. Balistreri, despite having risen to one of the highest ranks in the Italian police, is still plagued by the tragedy that marked his early career. Suspecting the recent crimes to be the work of a serial killer, he hopes that stopping this murderer will help to assuage the crippling guilt and regret that he has shouldered for over two decades. For Nardi - a relentless and enigmatic investigative journalist - Balistreri's proposition has presented a golden opportunity. If the nation is being misled as to the true nature of the crimes, she can expose the conspiracy and help to combat the corruption and racism that has become endemic in Italian society. One is fighting to fix the past, the other to fix the present. Yet these battles will prove to be shockingly linked: for the evil Nardi now seeks has marked Balistreri once before, and its malevolent trail goes way higher, and way further back, than either of them dared imagine.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent crime mystery - Highly recommended. 24 April 2013
A murder mystery spanning almost 25 years - beginning the night of Italy's 1982 World Cup victory and ending after their 2006 World Cup victory. In between there are brutal murders with glimpses of Italian politics, corruption, racism, greed and religion and culture. Most of all there are lies, clouding and confusing a police investigation which, if it had been successful in 1982, would have saved many lives in the future. The pace of the book barely lets up with many twists along the way. The writing and translation are first class. Don't be put off by the book's page length - once started you'll speed through it. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment. 20 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I can't imagine that anyone would wish this book longer. The claim that it contains "the best elements of literature" seems to me to be pretentious if not absurd. In fact it is a run of the mill police thriller, which never begins to justify its length. Two distinctive features are that the action is sandwiched between Italian World Cup victories and that the central character undergoes some form of moral development. Among police detectives Michele Balistreri must count as quite the most odious: arrogant, self-obsessed, cynical and misogynistic, without an ounce of charm or sensitivity. To a degree this is no doubt deliberate on Constantini's part, but only to a degree. The plot gathers some pace over the later stages of the novel but in the last analysis it seems to me that there are far better options in this genre, both in Italian and from elsewhere. The claims this weighty volume makes for itself sadly fail to achieve realisation.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good read no wow 6 Aug 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I listened to this book in audiobook so some of the comments on the book maybe related to this. The book is slow to begin with and I credited this to the fact that I did not like the lead character. Having read on I realised that this was part of the plot and you are not really supposed to like the lead character at the beginning. In fact I believe he doesn't like himself. As the book continues more characters are introduced. In my opinion there were too many characters introduced and these were hard to keep up with who was who. Again this may have been due to the fact I was listening rather than reading the book.

There are some huge leaps in time but these are kept nicely together by the dates at the beginning of the chapters which I thought was an excellent idea. The tale twists and turns well although there is the typical quiet mid section of the book. The book has an exciting dramatic end although I have to admit I had guessed who the murderer was all through the book. I think this may be my main problem with the book at no time was there a wow really moment. I will definitely try something else from this author but maybe not in audiobook again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A long complicated read 15 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book starts with a murder in 1982 on the night Italy won the World Cup and a Michele Balistreri who is so obnoxious I almost gave up reading but I persevered through this background to 2006 when most of the book is set. Another girl is murdered, Italy wins the World Cup again and the mother of the 1982 victim commits suicide. Please keep up because this is only the beginning of a long, sprawling book which includes more murder, Italian politics, the Vatican and Italy's problems with economic migrants amongst other things. I think this book has interesting things to say about all these topics and two things are very clear from all of it - there is no black or white, only shades of grey and that spin is alive and well in Rome.
I think the plotting is ingenious and well thought out, if a little long, with many clever twists although not all are believable. I'm unsure about the characterisation. I thought the minor characters were well drawn and believable but I found the main characters and their motivations difficult to understand and relate to. To sum up: I found the picture of modern day Italy fascinating and credible, the 2006 events intriguing enough to want to know whodunit but it requires a massive suspension of disbelief to accept some aspects of the plot and some of the characters' actions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Thriller 20 Aug 2013
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I was concerned that such a long book would be drawn out and lack pace. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is a real page turner and just keeps you guessing. Great characters and clever plot.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb crime saga with more to come! 25 May 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Best book I have read for a long time. Spanning 25 years, the plot it complex and detailed, testing your memory of previous events, but worth the struggle. The characterisation is as good I have seen and the interplay between the police characters and their bosses was Connellyesque and Bosch at its best!

Loved the political overtones ( very realistic) - and the insight into the Vatican politics also.

I read this 700 pager on a cruise - and you do need a good run at it to do it justice. First of a trilogy, can't wait for the next!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read 4 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
FIrst read of a Constantini book and I was delighted with the pace, character descriptions. The story line threw up enough "red Herrings" to keep you guessing until the end. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Sue Kichenside TOP 500 REVIEWER
This protracted police procedural is bookended by Italy's two World Cup wins - a neat idea on which the author, rather maddeningly, fails to capitalise. The book opens with the first cup win in 1982 when we are introduced to Balistreri, a good-looking hard-ass cop who's into smoking, drinking, poker and sex. A neo-Fascist in his troubled youth, Balistreri isn't the most likeable of characters. When a beautiful young woman (is there any other kind in these books?) goes missing, the brash Balistreri fails to take the case seriously - until the girl turns up dead.

We then flash forward 24 years to Italy's second win. Now weary with age and guilt, Balistreri has mellowed into an altogether different man. Further murders of women are being committed and he is convinced they are all linked. The narrative then drones on relentlessly with a skein of ridiculously far-fetched plot complications and pseudo-political digressions. Unfortunately, Balistreri lacks the charm of a Montalbano to carry this off and I found myself skipping lines, then paragraphs and then whole pages. When I reached the end, it felt like deliverance indeed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars An Italian Henning Mankell
This is a well-plotted, fascinating story of intrigue and evil within a rich Italian context spanning over 20 years. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Anthony W. Bates
3.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't quite deliver
Although well written, it goes on too long, repetitive explanations and minutae that is not relevant, a shame, worthy subject matter though
Published 4 months ago by Steve montgomery
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Kept me engrossed right to the end. Characters very well drawn and atmosphere of Rome captured very well. To be recommended.
Published 4 months ago by lynda lord
An excellent read, indepth and constantly moving that keeps the readers interest. Good insight into the workings of the Italian Police Depts and Internal Political relations... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The Deliverance of Evil
This book was great i enjoyed very much
The twist at the end was very good.
Hope to read more of his books
Published 11 months ago by pamela a davenport
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended by a friend.
Walking the dog I bumped into a friend who recommended a book he was reading. "It's some size of book", he said, "by an Italian guy. Ricardo something, Montenari, I think. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Long and drawn out
A very long book that is good on detail about
Rome but the overall plot whilst having its moments takes some getting through and is in places predictable
Published 13 months ago by steve
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for me
I didn't like the characters especially the main protagonist and lost the will to continue about 1/3 of the way through
Published 13 months ago by Harriet Every
1.0 out of 5 stars Deliverance of Evil
Thee book is outragerously bad. It is full of sex and brutality, which arre imporsonated in the main character. Even if this thick book had been diminiished to its half. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Madsen Bertil
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