For my series this summer, I am providing selections of book reviews by country. Either the author is from the country named in the post, or the book is set there.
I am very keen on crime fiction from Italy so I was unsurprised to find seventeen reviews in my archive. The marvellous Andrea Camilleri (abetted by the brilliant translation of Stephen Sartarelli) accounts for quite a few of these: The Scent of the Night, The Snack Thief, The Terracotta Dog, Voice of the Violin, August Heat, Excursion to Tindari, Paper Moon and The Wings of the Sphnix have all left warm afterthoughts in my mind.
Gianrico Carofiglio is another marvellous Italian author, who has written three novels about a lawyer, set in Bari, and another standalone – The Past is a Foreign Country. Then there is Donna Leon, "honorary Italian", author of the enduringly popular Comissario Brunetti novels. Carlo Lucarelli (Almost Blue), Massimo Carlotto (Poisonville) and Luigi Guicciardi (Inspector Cataldo's Criminal Summer) have all been enormously pleasurable finds for me.
I also very much enjoyed a novel by Andrew Wilson called The Lying Tongue, a creepily atmospheric psychological thriller set for its first half in Venice, a very absorbing and exciting tale about the nature of talent, jealousy and greed. If I were in the blurb-writing business, I might write "Particia Highsmith meets Daphne Du Maurier, with a dash of John Fowles" of this very good novel,