The Deliverance of Evil (Commissario Balistreri Trilogy) Hardcover – 28 Mar 2013
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'[A] sprawling tale of personal and political corruption, expediency and revenge' Guardian. (Guardian)
'A remarkably dark thriller ... The author combines the plotting and pace of international crime with the poise and prowess of literary fiction, striating the narrative with topical political insight' ShotsMag. (ShotsMag)
'An ambitious book in which the corruption of the state, the police, business and the remnants of the aristocracy [...] are implicated in an effort to relate individual experience to the condition of the nation' Times Literary Supplement. (Times Literary Supplement)
'Compelling drama ... The gripping strength of the novel lies in its passionate portrayal of a corrupt and criminal Italy, from seedy traffickers to the Vatican' The Times. (The Times)
'Costantini pushes all the right buttons' Seven magazine. (Seven magazine)
'One of those rare novels that brings together the best elements of literature ... and a nonstop thriller that drives readers relentlessly from first page to last' Jeffery Deaver. (Jeffery Deaver)
'Sprawling, violent and beset by a tortured morality, this is a compelling vision of modern Italy' Mail on Sunday. (Mail on Sunday)
'Utterly compelling' Peter May. (Peter May)
About the Author
Roberto Costantini was born in Tripoli in 1952. Formerly an engineer and business consultant, he is now a manager of the LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome, where he also teaches on the MBA program.
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I think the plotting is ingenious and well thought out, if a little long, with many clever twists although not all are believable. I'm unsure about the characterisation. I thought the minor characters were well drawn and believable but I found the main characters and their motivations difficult to understand and relate to. To sum up: I found the picture of modern day Italy fascinating and credible, the 2006 events intriguing enough to want to know whodunit but it requires a massive suspension of disbelief to accept some aspects of the plot and some of the characters' actions.
What connects gruesome misogynistic murders 25 years apart? How are small time criminals linked with corrupt business and what is the political connection? But nothing is what it first seems.
We are introduced to very diverse set of Italian police officers. The impulsive muscular woman detective, the thorough scrupulous investigator, the jobbing copper. At the centre is Commissario Balistreri a troubled flawed man overshadowed by youthful traumas. Even if he would prefer not to, he is constantly drawn back to acting professionally and to chasing down the truth. Though,accordng to Costantini, there is only so much truth the public can bear.
The book is a portrait of the underside of Italy, Rome in particular. Beneath impressive, grand, physical and personal facades there is corruption and decay. Balistreri is a convincingly written, strong, character, surviving, rather than flourishing, in a world where everything is grey and most moral compasses are broken. Readers who can cope with Costantini's pessimistic vision will engage with this story. This is the first of a trilogy, I'll be reading the next book.
Thank goodness for the Kindle library's search facility. This was the second Italian author I tracked down and I hit the jackpot with this page-turner. It does indeed span the 24 years between Italy's wins in 1982 & 2006, an unsolved murder on the night of the '82 final haunting detective Michele Balestiri' s life and career before the killer returns in time for a killing spree in '06. A spree that accompanies much unrest in Rome with racism, religion, sex and revenge linking politics,the Vatican, and personal friends and family in a tale with more threads, twists and turns than any book I've read.
I took it on holiday and honestly could not put it down, kept me guessing who dun it right until the end.
I read in a couple of days on my kindle, however a couple of my friends said they would have preferred to read it a a hard copy as they wanted to flick back and check dates.
I would recommend this to any book club.
Loved the political overtones ( very realistic) - and the insight into the Vatican politics also.
I read this 700 pager on a cruise - and you do need a good run at it to do it justice. First of a trilogy, can't wait for the next!