River of Shadows: A Commissario Soneri Mystery and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more


or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available

 
Start reading River of Shadows on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

River of Shadows: A Commissario Soneri Mystery (Commissario Soneri 1) [Paperback]

Valerio Varesi , Joseph Farrell
3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
You Save: 2.40 (30%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 7 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it tomorrow, 18 Sep.? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 3.96  
Hardcover --  
Paperback 5.59  

Book Description

1 Sep 2011 Commissario Soneri 1

Rain falls relentlessly on the Po valley in northern Italy, and the river is swollen to its limits. A huge barge leaves its moorings, steering an erratic course downstream and away into the foggy night. When finally it runs aground hours later, the bargeman is nowhere to be found.

That same evening, Commissario Soneri is summoned to investigate the apparent suicide of a man in nearby Parma. He and the bargeman were brothers, and when the detective discovers that they served together in the fascist militia fifty years earlier, the incidents seem likely to be linked. Resentments dating from the savage civil strife between Fascists and Partisans in the closing years of the war still weigh heavily, and as the flood waters begin to ebb, the river yields up its secrets: tales of past brutality, bitter rivalry and revenge.

Valerio Varesi is a penetrating analyst of his country's dark and undigested history.


Frequently Bought Together

River of Shadows: A Commissario Soneri Mystery (Commissario Soneri 1) + The Dark Valley: A Commissario Soneri Investigation (Commissario Soneri 2) + Death in August (Inspector Bordelli 1)
Price For All Three: 16.77

Buy the selected items together


Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: MacLehose Press (1 Sep 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849164029
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849164023
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 142,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

'The real coups of River of Shadows are twofold: the author's trenchant analysis of his country's ignoble past, married to the narrative acumen of a master storyteller' Barry Forshaw, Independent.

From the Inside Flap

Rain falls relentlessly on the Po valley in northern Italy, and the river itself is swollen to its limits. The seasoned rivermen in the boat club watch in disbelief as a huge barge leaves its moorings, steering an erratic course downstream and away into the foggy night. When finally it runs aground some hours later, the bargeman, Tonna, is nowhere to be found. That same evening, Commissario Soneri is summoned to investigate the death, apparently suicide, of an elderly man in a hospital in nearby Parma. He and the missing bargeman were brothers, and when the detective discovers that they served together in the fascist militia fifty years earlier, the disappearance of one and the death of the other seem likely to be linked. Contemptuous of his superiors in the police force and magistrates' officer, Soneri has also to defer to the demands of his fiery lover, Angela. He is only too aware of the value of discretion, but the wall of silence erected by those who make their living along the riverbanks seriously obstructs his investigation. Resentments dating from the savage civil strife between Fascists and Partisans in the closing years of the war still weigh heavily, and as the flood waters eventually begin to ebb, the river yields up its secrets: tales of past brutality, bitter rivalry and revenge. Introducing Commissario Soneri - a highly original and complex creation - River of Shadows is a brooding, thoroughly evocative crime novel; Valerio Varesi is a penetrating analyst of his country's dark and undigested history.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
80 of 84 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars River of Shadows ---Valerio Varesi 6 Sep 2010
By Simon Clarke TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is the first of a series featuring Commissario Soneri,which
has been made into a popular television drama in Italy.
The story is set in the Po valley,the river Po itself appearing
in the novel almost as a character in its own right.Whilst constant
rain is causing widespread flooding,a barge owned by the elderly,
experienced boatman,Tonna,is seen erratically making its way down
the river.When it comes to a halt,the owner is not onboard.On the
same night Commissario Soneri discovers that Tonna's brother is
dead,seemingly having fallen out of a hospital window.
As Soneri tries to discover a connection between the two events,
he comes across still existing feuds between communists and fascists
going back to events in the early 1940's.
Commissario Soneri is a fascinating character,with his love of food
and wine,and his forceful ladyfriend,who has a desire for having sex
in unusual locations. This elegantly written novel is an enjoyable start
to a series that whets the appetite for more of Commissario Soneri
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
By J. Hood
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I know that if you try eating, say, steamed plaice after spicy curry you'll find it hard to taste anything. I came to this book after reading a dozen books of Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Montalbano series, and what struck me immediately was that there was little to grasp by way of Soneri's character. It was as though he were just there to unravel the mystery: a plot item rather than a rounded character like Montalbano. What really got on my nerves was the girlfriend, Angela, who wanted sex in strange places spiced with danger. The relationship simply did not ring true. But maybe Soneri's character will develop in later books. And perhaps he will do something about his mobile's ringtone.
The atmosphere around the river was beautifully drawn - a complete contrast from Montalbano's vivid, hot Sicily - and the slowness of the plot, that one reviewer castigated, worked very well. The bargemen, the tragic legacy of the Second World War in Italy, and the life of the river, redeemed the novel but on the whole I was disappointed not to have found a successor to Montalbano for my bedtime reading. I'm not sure I'll read another in the series.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric and gripping 22 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback
The principals are the detective and the Po. The supporting cast are old Communists and old Fascists. I found it hard to put this book down, so I didn't.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
By Mrs. K. A. P. Wright TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the first book to feature Commissario Soneri of the Polizia, the Italian civil police. It is set in the Po valley.

As the book starts, it is raining and the Po is rising. The elderly members of the boatman's club are monitoring its levels. A barge owned by Tonna, an aged and reclusive boatman, slips its moorings and showing a single light, sets off through the turbulent waters of the Po in spate. Most of the first chapter follows its progress as the boatmen and increasingly, the police try to gauge what is happening. Is Tonna aboard? Is he alone? Does he know what is happening? Eventually the barge fetches up against an embankment, abandoned, but because it has successfully negotiated four bridges, it is assumed that somebody has been aboard.

Meanwhile, at the local hospital, a local character who spent most of his time visiting clinics and wards to chat to the patients, has been found dead, beneath an open, broken window, an apparent suicide. He is also a Tonna, Decimo Tonna, the bargeman's brother. Soneri is sent to investigate. He quickly comes to believe that it would be too much of a coincidence if the occurrences were not connected and directs his attention towards the Po and discovering what has happened to the elder Tonna brother. The people of the river are an isolated and unreceptive community and Soneri finds it hard to communicate with them, let alone gain their confidence.

With the exception of the initial section, we see the action completely from Soneri's point of view. We know very little about him, except what we learn from his actions and interactions with other people, but he slowly emerges as an interesting and sympathetic figure, an investigator of skill and sensitivity.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read 18 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The author has a painterly approach to writing and brings to life the fog-ridden Po Valley with a deft touch. Fans of Italian detective fiction will not be disappointed although, for me, Camilleri remains in pole position. I would like to see the character of Soneri develop in future books and I must say that I found Angela somewhat unbelievable. Otherwise I was totally hooked.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Rather tedious 20 Sep 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having read most of the wonderful Andrea Camilleri's books, Donna Leon's, Michael Dibdin's and Marco Vichi's, I was really set to enjoy this book. Unfortunately I didn't. Although I think it is beautifully descriptive of the Po valley and past events that took place there, it somehow lacks any real interest. I found the character of Angela, Soneri's girlfriend, who likes to have sex in strange situations, very unengaging to the point of boring.

Pity, I was looking forward to working my way through another Italian detective series.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars And slow flows the Po 21 Jan 2012
By Blue in Washington TOP 500 REVIEWER TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
The first in a promising new italian mystery series by journalist Valerio Varesi, "River of Shadows" is a methodical police procedural that takes place in small riverine towns in the Po Valley early in the new century (2000). You'd be hard-pressed to find a book that does a better job of evoking the sense of place and climate (meteorologic and social). The author has created a palpable murkiness, isolation and alienation in this story of the murder of two elderly brothers. And while it is about the history and fate of the two men, it is also the saga of Italy's largest river and its profound effect on the everyday lives of the towns' inhabitants--especially those who have have been making a living from the commercial artery that the Po River once was.

The book's protagonist is Commissario Soneri, a provincial copper, who comes across as a slightly less volatile version of his Sicilian counterpart, Salvo Montalbano. But in many ways, Soneri and "River of Shadows" echoes the wonderful Camilleri series with its fine sense of local geography and community, inclusion of food and even a no-nonsense girlfriend for the Commissario. The cop's interacton with the local population and the description of the latter's lives give the story an authentic feel and some challenge to the reader to try to discern what is actually going on in those exchanges.

"River of Shadows" is slow on action and sparing on violence, but is definitely an intelligent and interesting mystery read. While this appears to be the only book in the series to be translated into English so far, the success of the series in Italy (it's now on Italian television) suggests that subsequent books are headed toward translation. They will be a welcome addition to the genre, in my opnion.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The River Po
Superbly written and translated, fully evocative of the Po Valley in Italy!
Published 24 days ago by Kindle Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
thank you
Published 1 month ago by rosie2
3.0 out of 5 stars it's ok
-The story is located on the river Po valley. It is a police procedural but I found it dull. I regret to say it's not a patch on Dibdin, Leon or Camilleri.
Published 5 months ago by Orinoco
4.0 out of 5 stars atmospheric
I really enjoyed this book. It is extremely atmospheric and gives a haunting account of a mystery in the Po valley. Read more
Published 6 months ago by edith morris
3.0 out of 5 stars The River Po... a gloomy setting
I feel sorry for poor Soneri, having to trail up and down this relentlessly gloomy waterway. He must have yearned for some light and some light relief. I know I did. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Fred Everett
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard going at first
Strange stories - you have to persevere. After three books I still fel I do not know this character. I shall keep trying!
Published 7 months ago by Chatty Kathy
2.0 out of 5 stars Won't buy another Commissario novel
The book never came alive for me. Characterisation was poor; numerous villages on the Po were named - a map might have helped to chart his wanderings. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Janet Andrews
2.0 out of 5 stars Yes, but it's the river Lethe
Lots of effort (skill?) has gone into the creation of atmosphere - but at the expense of momentum: this is really very slow: a full 10% of the novel is given over to the initial... Read more
Published 8 months ago by JK
3.0 out of 5 stars River of Shadows
Very slow reading took a long time to get to find culprit and why they had done it. Not very excirting.
Published 9 months ago by reedar
5.0 out of 5 stars addictive
I am a lover of all italian police thrillers and this does not disappoint. I couldn't put it down . I have already ordered the next book
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category


Feedback