Glass Souls is by Maurizio de Giovanni. In the abyss of a profound personal crisis, Commissario Ricciardi feels unable to open himself up to life. He has refused the love of both Enrica and Livia and the friendship of his partner, Maione. Contentment for Ricciardi proves as elusive as clues to the latest crime he has been asked to investigate. The beautiful, haughty Bianca, countess of Roccaspina, pleads with Ricciardi to investigate a homicide that was officially closed months ago. In the tense, charged atmosphere of 1930s Italy, where Benito Mussolini and his fascist thugs monitor the police closely, an unauthorized investigation is grounds for immediate dismissal and possible criminal charges. But Ricciardi's thirst for justice cannot be sated. A tightly plotted historical noir novel, this eighth instalment in the Commissario Ricciardi series is a gripping meditation on revenge and justice in which each character's soul reveals itself to be made of glass.
In Ostia, a depressed coastal settlement twenty miles from the powerful and corrupt city of Rome, a mighty local crime family, the Mafia, corrupt politicians, and new rabid criminal elements battle each other for a billion-dollar payoff. During the final days of Silvio Berlusconi's reign, a massive development proposal that will turn Ostia into a gambling paradise, a Las Vegas on the Mediterranean, is winding its way through the Italian legislature thanks to the sponsorship of politicians in the pay of crime syndicates with vested interests. In short, it's business as usual in the Italian capital. But a vicious gang of local thugs loyal to nobody but themselves is insisting on a bigger cut than agreed upon. They argue their case quite convincingly, but the Mafia and their political puppets aren't likely to back down without a fight. Suburra is by Carlo Bonini and Giancarlo De Cataldo and is soon to be a Netflix original series.
Ferocity is by Nicola Lagioia and is the Winner of the 2015 Strega Prize. Southern Italy, the 1980s. On a hot summer's night under a full moon, far from the outlying neighborhoods of a southern Italian metropolis, Clara stumbles naked, dazed, and bloodied down a major highway. When she dies no-one is able to say exactly how or why, but her brother cannot free himself from her memory or from the questions surrounding her death. The more he learns about her life and death, the more he uncovers the moral decay at the core of his family's ascent to social prominence.
Venice 1118 AD. In a medieval Venice undone by devastating famine and excessive, orgiastic Carnival festivities of all kinds, the protagonists of The Apothecary's Shop chase a dream of rebirth, the eternal dream of defeating death. The young Costanza, of the noble Grimani family, has disappeared. The family scribe, Edgardo, promises to return the girl to her family, who themselves may not be above suspicion. Doctors, apothecaries, undertakers, Eastern merchants, farmers: everyone seems to be involved in the girl's disappearance, even African slave traders. Abella, Edgardo's ambiguous ally and the only female doctor in Venice, introduces him into secrets and occult practices of medicine. Through her, Edgardo discovers Sabbatai's Apothecary, where remedies and concoctions of all kinds are prepared and clues to Costanza's disappearance may lie. The Apothecary's Shop is by Roberto Tiraboschi.
The Sacco Gang is by Andrea Camilleri. Raffadali, province of Agrigento, 1920s. The Sacco brothers are free men with strong ideas about socialism and the State. Their lives change radically one morning when their father, Luigi Sacco, receives an anonymous letter from the local Mafia demanding protection money and is the victim of a robbery attempt. Luigi tells the police of the extortion letters he received, but the police don't know what to do: no one in the village has ever dared denounce the Mafia before. From that moment on, the Sacco brothers must defend themselves: from the Mafia and the forces of order, from their collaborators, traitors, and from the village's leaders, as they are assailed by murder attempts, false accusations, and false testimony. Through the tale of the Sacco brothers and what happens to the town of Raffadali, The Sacco Gang makes clear that not only does the mafia kill people, but it can also condition and irreparably devastate people's lives.