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Via Delle Oche (Europa Editions) [Paperback]

Carlo Lucarelli
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 6.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

9 Oct 2008 Europa Editions
Murder in a brothel on a notorious street in the centre of Bologna. Elections that will decide a nation's fate looming. A connection between the two? Perhaps! It's enough to put Commissario De Luca off his food again, in the dramatic conclusion ot the popular De Luca trilogy. ""Lucarelli never loses his perspective on human nature and its frailties."" - The Guardian

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Via Delle Oche (Europa Editions) + Damned Season, The (De Luca Trilogy 2) + Carte Blanche (De Luca Trilogy 1)
Price For All Three: 19.07

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: EUROPA EDITIONS (9 Oct 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933372532
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933372532
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 13.7 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 99,327 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish this trilogy were an open-ended series 6 Nov 2008
By L. J. Roberts TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fitting end to the De Luca trilogy 11 Jan 2011
By Leonard Fleisig TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Police Commisario (Inspector) De Luca is one of those cops who would like nothing more than to be left along to do his job. He doesn't care much for politics on a global or national scale and doesn't really want to play the sort of political games that could facilitate a cop's climb up the career ladder. But De Luca lives in a turbulent place (Bologna, Italy) during turbulent times (WWII and its immediate aftermath) and the fact that De Luca wants no part of politics does not mean that politics and intrigue won't plague him as he goes about his business. The result has been a trilogy of books that have provided entertaining police stories while at the same time painting a pretty detailed picture of what life may have been like in post-war northern Italy.

"Via Delle Oche" is the final volume in what has come to be known as "The De Luca Trilogy". The trilogy is set in northern Italy and takes us from the closing days of WWII, (Carte Blanche (De Luca Trilogy 1)) to the turbulent years immediately after the war (The Damned Season (De Luca Trilogy 2)) until 1948, the current volume, where a critical post-war national election is at hand. The cold war is raging in Europe and the election is thought to be a critical battlefield. Consequently, the Church, the powerful Italian Communist Party, and various secular partisan political groups engage in the sort of intrigue that would make Machiavelli proud. This election is of no immediate professional consequence for De Luca since he is now, upon his return to Bologna from `exile' in Damned Season, assigned to the vice squad. De Luca doesn't seem to mind the demotion all that much as it keeps him outside the political battles that effect the police force as much as any other Italian institution.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Rob Kitchin TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Via Delle Oche is a short book (133 pages), but unlike the previous two in the trilogy, I didn't feel the story was so under-developed, although it could have benefited from some fleshing out in places. De Luca is a complex, conflicted character and the story captures the atmosphere, politics and corruption of a country in turmoil. I am particularly taken with Lucarelli's storytelling which focuses on what the characters say and do, with little thick description or the use of metaphors or similes. Rather than being dull and lifeless, Lucarelli's prose is rich and the story races along. A fine piece of writing and a satisfying end to the trilogy.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Translation not good 13 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a good story nearly ruined by a poor translation. The publishers have gone to some trouble to produce a nicely presented volume; however it is more of a novella at only 156 pages. The murder plot is quite straightforward, the details of 1948 Italian politics highly confusing. Surprisingly, the TV series sticks reasonably closely to the book, and de Luca remains rather a shadowy figure, while lacking the charisma of the actor. I nearly stopped reading at page 53 when a description of a police chief's tic went seriously awry grammatically, and I suspect too literal adherence to the Italian led to numerous infelicities. I did get through to the end, which is left deliberately ambiguous. Interesting but flawed.
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Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fitting end to the De Luca trilogy 25 Jan 2009
By Leonard Fleisig - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Police Commisario (Inspector) De Luca is one of those cops who would like nothing more than to be left along to do his job. He doesn't care much for politics on a global or national scale and doesn't really want to play the sort of political games that could facilitate a cop's climb up the career ladder. But De Luca lives in a turbulent place (Bologna, Italy) during turbulent times (WWII and its immediate aftermath) and the fact that De Luca wants no part of politics does not mean that politics and intrigue won't plague him as he goes about his business. The result has been a trilogy of books that have provided entertaining police stories while at the same time painting a pretty detailed picture of what life may have been like in post-war northern Italy.

"Via Delle Oche" is the final volume in what has come to be known as "The De Luca Trilogy". The trilogy is set in northern Italy and takes us from the closing days of WWII, (Carte Blanche (De Luca Trilogy 1)) to the turbulent years immediately after the war (The Damned Season (De Luca Trilogy 2)) until 1948, the current volume, where a critical post-war national election is at hand. The cold war is raging in Europe and the election is thought to be a critical battlefield. Consequently, the Church, the powerful Italian Communist Party, and various secular partisan political groups engage in the sort of intrigue that would make Machiavelli proud. This election is of no immediate professional consequence for De Luca since he is now, upon his return to Bologna from `exile' in Damned Season, assigned to the vice squad. De Luca doesn't seem to mind the demotion all that much as it keeps him outside the political battles that effect the police force as much as any other Italian institution. But the fates and a murder in a bordello on the Via Delle Oche conspire to put De Luca back where he least wants to be: in the limelight walking a political tightrope.

The strength of "Via Delle Oche" lies in Lucarelli's ability to paint a pretty realistic-feeling portrait of postwar northern Italy in the years immediately after WWII. I got a real sense of time and place while reading these books. Apart from De Luca, Lucarelli does not invest a lot of time in presenting us with a full-blown character analysis of the key parties to the crime and its aftermath. We also don't get a lot of the internal life of De Luca but De Luca's actions tend to speak for themselves and over the course of the books I got a nice feel for his personality without having had Lucarelli spell it out for me.

Although the stories themselves are self-contained I think that the De Luca Trilogy needs to be read in sequence. By the time I came to "Via Delle Oche" the character of Commisario De Luca has been fully formed and the reader will miss out on a lot of context if they have not read the first two volumes. I enjoyed all three books.

All in all Via Delle Oche was a filling end to the De Luca trilogy. Recommended. L. Fleisig
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Post-WW II political wrangling in Italy 26 July 2008
By Blue in Washington - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Carlo Lucarelli taps into the deep well of Italian cynicism for this continuing saga of Commissario De Luca, the last honest cop in the country, as the parties of the Left and Right duke it out in an apparently meaningless contest for power. Against that political backdrop, Lucarelli spins a credible murder mystery that centers on the "honest prostitutes" working the city of Bologna.

Italy in 1948 was a tough neighborhood for anyone trying to get on with a normal life after many years of the Fascist regime and five years of the war. Lucarelli is terrific at giving the reader a realistic look at the environment of the time.

"Via Delle Oche" is the third book in this series now in translation and print by Europa Editions. "Carte Blanche" and "The Damned Season" chronicle earlier adventures of the indefatigable Commissario De Luca and are well worth reading.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Post war Italy 18 July 2008
By Albert A. Chambers - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a well written snapshot of the struggle in post war Italy between the communists, the church and secular moderates and right wing.
Very little character development goes on. I would recommend this to Italophiles. As a mystery it is ok not great.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Last In A Trilogy Of Short Stories 28 Mar 2013
By Jim - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was surprised and disappointed in the brevity of each novel in this trilogy. Although Lucarelli revealed a side of modern Italian history that was unknown to me, the storytelling itself was uninspired and formulaic. If it was the author's intent to portray his anti-hero DeLuca in an unsympathetic, indeed cowardly ("I'm only a policeman" as he tried to worm his way out of trouble with the shifting authorities), way he succeeded. But the portrayal was also skin deep. It is hard to believe that three attractive women, one in each of the novelettes, were so immediately attracted to this unkempt man that they immediately slept with him. Perhaps the charm of these stories may have been in reading them in the original Italian. Although Lucarelli may be an authentic Italian, his stories contain none of the color and depth of the American Donna Leone in her writings about Venetian crime through the eyes of her Commissario notwithstanding any cultural miscues in her views of Italy.
2.0 out of 5 stars Via Delle Oche 18 Aug 2011
By Ralph Gregorio - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This novel was very good up until the end, then it sort of fell apart. That said, this book gives a very good history lesson into the aftermath of World War two when the communist were vying for power in the region.
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