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River of Shadows

by Valerio Varesi

Set in icy cold winter in small communities flanking the flooding River Po, this police procedural introduced me to an unimagined Italy, without sun, old masters or vino. But with a sympathetic policeman, who is stereotypically Italian enough to be interested in food and sex, and capable of solving very strange crimes. Definitely one for fans of Eurocrime with a difference.

Extract

... he imagined that flight, in the evening, on a river in spate, between embankments which had suddenly shrunk for someone looking at them from midstream. He thought of one, solitary, single-minded man clambering up, sliding about in the mud as he attempted to reach safety, wading to his knees in filth, soaked through like marsh life, hoping to reach a friendly house as the veterans had done of old and to find people speaking the dialects of the PO.
Translated by Joseph Farrell

Parallels

October Men by Anthony Price
 

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