2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
, 13 April 2011
This review is from: Almost Blue (Paperback)
This was not a good book. On the cover, the Guardian says it's a "compact and powerful masterpiece", but I think they meant "thank God this piece of rubbish is only short" and it was apparently shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger award (it must have been a really long shortlist that year). A serial killer - later dubbed The Iguana because he takes on the physical traits of his victims - is `terrorising' Bologna and a rookie Detective - Grazia Negro - is assigned to the case. The only witness is a blind man, Simone, who eavesdrops on the city with scanners. Translated from the Italian, that might explain some of the terrible sentence structures and pointless lines, but not all of them. Lucarelli, almost as if he's a fifteen year old boy, is fascinated with the workings of Grazia's body (she's due her period for the first third of the book, she's often sweaty and comments on it and when she takes her clothes off, the text seeme to revel in her nakedness) and whilst that's not necessarily a bad thing, it didn't add anything to this (nor does the ludicrous sex scene towards the end). Add in a blind man it's difficult to care about, a serial killer who is only revealed in clippings from files (show, not tell, Carlo!) and Grazia's boss who constantly calls her `bambina', you can tell things aren't going well. Combine them with a plot that jumps days and weeks without concern, pays little attention to logic or timelines and you're left with a short novel that has little respect for the reader. Almost as bad as Patricia Connwell's "The Front" (which I read back in 2009), I would find it very difficult to recommend this to anyone at all. Avoid.
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