Thursday, May 2, 2013
Review: AT THE END OF A DULL DAY by Massimo Carlotto
So. Where do I begin? Last year I read a phenomenal crime novel called The Goodbye Kiss, by my favorite crime writer, Italian crazy man Massimo Carlotto. I loved this book. I even persuaded my husband, who never reads crime fiction, to read it, and he loved it. So you can imagine when I heard that Europa would be publishing not only another Carlotto as part of its World Noir series but the sequel to my favoritest crime novel ever, I was pretty flippin' excited. And then one day it showed up in my mailbox! Have I ever mentioned that I love Europa Editions?
The Goodbye Kiss told the story of Giorgio Pellegrini, a guy who gives "mad, bad and dangerous to know" a whole new set of wheels. In that book, he was out of prison and looking to settle down into a quiet life. Sometimes a guy just doesn't want to get hassled by the police and go to jail and all that. But the catch is, to get it, he needed to cause a whole lot of mayhem. But he did get his quiet life in the end. He opened a restaurant, married a beautiful woman, and all was supposed to be well.
And for a while it was. At the End of a Dull Day opens eleven years later. He's not exactly living clean- he's running a brutal prostitution ring, and he's the worst husband ever. I mean, if your husband doesn't openly cheat on you and make you exercise till you pass out every night, you're doing better than Giorgio's poor wife. But even a guy like Giorgio has his problems. For starters, his crooked lawyer just stole a bunch of his money and sold him out to the mob, and he's taking liberties with Giorgio's prostitutes as well. The mob has its boot on his throat, and Giorgio is used to being the one doing the windpipe crushing. So this has to end. And you'd better believe there's going to be a body count and some humiliation served up piping hot for his enemies.
Dull Day is another fun read from Carlotto. Giorgio is a guy you love to hate. And you'll really hate him. But he is the hero of this tale, so you kind of have to root for him too. Because really, there's no one better, except for the poor women. Women always get the worst of it in Carlotto's books, but I'm convinced that it's not the kind of titillating brutality you get in Stieg Larsson and his ilk. It's just nasty and brutish, gritty and dark. I really enjoyed my latest foray into Carlotto's world. I hope this book brings him to some new readers and pleases his longtime fans as well. You don't have to have read The Goodbye Kiss to get into this one but if you can, you should, just for fun. If you like crime fiction you really can't do any better than these books!
This is my seventh book for the 2013 Europa Challenge.
FTC Disclosure: I received this book for review from Europa Editions.