I am glad that they translated Carlotto into English. I guess there is something in this novel that English language readers will appreciate: that is, the story told by the Bad Guy. And this Bad Guy, the narrating I of this dark story of corruption, violence, and politics (plenty of politics), is as good (or as bad) as the charaters you may meet in the pages of that underrated genius of US fiction, Jim Thompson.
The man who tells the story is a former Red Brigades terrorist and exile. But he is above all a cynical, cold, amoral individual. His story is the grim tale of how you can be formally rehabilitated, thanks to good connections and a corrupt political system, yet remaining the insensitive thug you were. And such cold, cynical people are always appreciated in a world like the Italian Nordest in the 1990s, where only money and glamour and power count.
Carlotto's plain style has been berated as it doesn't meet the literary standards of critics who only care for the highest number of synonyms and adjectives and adverbs. Actually he writes in a language which is as simple, polished and piercing as a bullet. But some of his choices of words and details are simply powerful. And this is one of those books where you simply can't take away anything.
A remarkable thing is that in noir you always have the dark lady. This is an exception. Here you have the dark man. The lady is the only clean person in the story...