Giorgio Faletti’s first thriller, I Kill, took Europe by storm, selling over five million copies. The Corriere della Sera, Italy’s leading newspaper, crowned him “the greatest Italian writer.” In 2010, with the explosive publication of A Pimp’s Notes, Faletti won international celebrity as a writer of world-class, tightly wound, psychologically nuanced thrillers.
It’s 1978. Italy has just been shocked by the kidnapping of the politician Aldo Moro by the left-leaning terrorist group the Red Brigades. In Milan, the upper class continues to amuse itself in luxury restaurants, underground clubs, and cabarets. This is Bravo’s milieu. Enigmatic and cynical, Bravo makes his living catering to the tastes, fantasies, and fetishes of the wealthy and depraved. When the mysterious Carla enters his life, what begins as a clandestine romance quickly becomes a nightmare that will transform Bravo into a man wanted by the police, by organized crime, and even by the Red Brigades. As the web around him tightens, Bravo will be forced to confront the violence of the times in which he lives as well as his own connections to the political and criminal networks that control contemporary Italy.
About Giorgio Faletti
Giorgio Faletti spent years as a successful comedian and singer/songwriter before beginning a career as a writer. His first novel, I Kill (2002), was an international sensation. His fifth novel, I Am God, was recently published in England, to wide acclaim.
The third bluntly titled thriller by Faletti (I Kill, 2002; I Am God, 2009) is narrated by Bravo, who lets the reader know a few important things up front. First, his penis was cut off years ago after falling afoul of the wrong people; he’s a tough but compassionate boss to the women who serve his high-priced clients; and he works hard to keep the more sordid aspects of Milan’s druggy, violent underbelly at arm’s length. The novel’s plot turns on him bungling that last part badly: Not long after taking a new prostitute under his wing, he discovers that he’s been framed as part of a complicated scheme that’s left some of Italy’s prominent movers and shakers dead. Though the novel is set in 1978—the kidnapping of politician Aldo Moro plays a small role in the plot—its spirit and tone are closer to that of the ’30s and ’40s noirs of Cain, Hammett, Chandler and Goodis. Bravo is a black-humored, streetwise narrator with an appealingly flinty demeanor even when he’s in over his head, and he has an excellent femme fatale in Carla, an initially pliable woman who turns out to be much more manipulative than he expected. Faletti is particularly adept at showing how the scales slowly fall from Bravo’s eyes: First his moral certainty about his profession erodes, then his sense of personal security, then his faith in his country’s social structure. The nobody-can-be-trusted plot is familiar, and some closing revelations about Bravo’s past feel shoehorned in, but the book thrives on its fast pace—translator Antony Shugaar has taken care to keep the style pulpy yet elevated, in keeping with a hero who’s seen society at its worst but somehow finds time to enjoy the occasional word puzzle. – Kirkus Reviews
What’s a Flesh Peddler to Do? - ‘A Pimp’s Notes,’ by Giorgio Faletti
The New York Times Book Review – October 26, 2012 (Excerpt)
The Italian writer Giorgio Faletti’s first thriller, “I Kill,” was a conventional serial-killer mystery, complete with a murderer who calls in clues to a local radio show and a detective who finds redemption from his tragic past by cracking the case. Apart from its length (more than 600 pages) and its setting (Monte Carlo), there was little to distinguish the book from dozens of similar noir exercises, but it sold millions of copies in Italy. Its English translation did not do as well as other recent European blockbusters, which surely explains why Faletti’s sixth novel, “A Pimp’s Notes,” is the first since “I Kill” to be available in the American market. It would seem a more likely bet for breakout success, being both a shorter and a more sophisticated effort, and it’s packed with all those ingredients — chiefly sexual violence and a plot gesturing vaguely at Europe’s troubled political history — that audiences here tend to look for in a foreign favorite.
The novel takes place in late-1970s Milan just after the Red Brigade kidnapping of former Prime Minister Aldo Moro, who had initiated a “historic compromise” with the Communist Party. The pimp of the title, an erstwhile womanizer, goes by the name of Bravo, the word of encouragement called out by three hired thugs as they brutally castrated him for sleeping with a mobster’s girlfriend. Now Bravo pursues women primarily for their exchange value. [Read the full article...]
THE BLEEDING HILLS
A Novel by Wilfried F. Voss
I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith.
- 2 Timothy iv. 7
The Irish War is officially a part of history, but not for Finnean Whelan, an IRA veteran of almost 40 years. British Intelligence has produced evidence that he is the mastermind behind a conspiracy to assassinate the First Minister of Northern Ireland. For Whelan this is not only a mission of revenge, but marks the beginning of a journey into the past and the return to the one true love: Ireland. [More...]
The Bleeding Hills is available at Amazon.Com, Amazon.co.uk, Barnes & Noble, and any other good bookstore.