on 8 May 2007
Much of the best detective writing these days is coming out of Italy, and Lucarelli's Ispettore Negro novels are a worthy addition to the oeuvre. Negro herself is a tiger of a detective; determined, clever and always in at the death, but it is the structure and deft control of narrative that lift Lucarelli's books above the competition. Day After Day leads the reader from a state of confusion ("what is going on? who are these people? what is their connection? who is doing the killing?") to a realisation of the facts that is mirrored by the progress of the investigation itself.
If you like Camilleri, Carofiglio, Donna Leon or the much-mourned Michael Dibdin, Lucarelli will be a treat to enjoy.
This is Carlo Lucarelli's followup to the wonderful "Almost Blue" and it has the same fine psychological tension, refined plotting and elegantly drawn characters. In "Day After Day" a skilled professional killer who styles himself, "Pit Bull" is tracked by Inspector Grazia Negro--herself a real pit bull on the job. Negro has an uncanny talent for tracking criminals and never gives up the chase. As Pit Bull the assassin works down his to-do list with near flawless accuracy, Inspector Negro begins to close in, with the help of a lovelorn computer geek (owner of a real pitbullesque canine) who has come across communications between the killer and his "agent" in a computer chat room.
This cat and mouse thriller is anything but predictable as the chase goes on with the killer always a step or two ahead of his pursuers. What lends the story an even greater sense of drama and tension are the insights provided into the inner thoughts of all of the major characters in the novel. There are always several perspectives on offer throughout.
This is a terrific, original piece of writing that will satisfy anyone interested in the genre or just literary fiction writ large.
on 10 August 2012
As with all of Lucarelli's other translated novels, Day After Day is a relatively short book (in this case 225 pages in a small, pocket format). And as with the other books it is engagingly written with some very nice observational touches (I particularly liked those about silences and motorway driving) and it seems slightly underdeveloped. Lucarelli writes very tightly, with little in the way of subplots or misdirection or dead-ends. The style is all tell and little show. The result is a fairly linear plot which hurtles towards its inevitable conclusion. Yet his prose, quality of storytelling and the character of Ispettore Negro makes the reader want more. As with all his books then, I'm conflicted in rating Day After Day. On the one level, it's a great read, a literary piece of crime fiction, on another level it is too straightforward and underdeveloped. Overall, a tightly written, entertaining read which could have benefitted with a little fleshing out.