First Sentence: From the wall a giant Cossack was watching him with a fierce look in his eyes, a bearskin adorned with the red star on his head, and a bayonet between his teeth, one eye deformed by an air bubble trapped beneath the paper.
It's 1948, Italy is recovering after the way and Comm. De Luca is a cop assigned to vice in Bologna. Within days, there have been four closely related murders that no one particularly wants him to investigate. But no matter the division to which he's assigned, De Luca will never turn his back on bringing a killer to justice.
This may have been a novella, but it was fully packed. Lucarelli conveys the instability and uncertainty of the time as a backdrop to a classic police procedural. We don't know a lot about De Luca except the single most important fact: he is a cop, no matter the political pressures being brought to bear. At the same time, he is certainly human in his problems with eating, insomnia and his trademark trench coat.
I'm sorry there are only the three books and I'd love to know more about where De Luca goes from here. Italophiles, those interested in this period of history and those who like a good police procedural should enjoy this.