In 1960s Florence, a loan shark is murdered in this moody mystery featuring “a disillusioned anti-hero who is difficult to forget” (Andrea Camilleri).
Florence, 1965. A man is found murdered, a pair of scissors stuck through his throat. Only one thing is known about him—he was a loan shark, who ruined and blackmailed the vulnerable men and women who would come to him for help.
Inspector Bordelli prepares to launch a murder investigation. But the case will be a tough one for him, arousing mixed emotions: the desire for justice conflicting with a deep hostility for the victim. And he is missing his young police sidekick, Piras, who is convalescing at his parents’ home in Sardinia.
But Piras hasn’t been recuperating for long before he too has a mysterious death to deal with . . .
Set in December 1965, Vichi's exceptional third Inspector Bordelli mystery (after 2013's Death and the Olive Grove) finds the 55-year-old Florentine policeman worried about his looming retirement. Bordelli, who has a compelling need for resolution, spends a couple of weeks investigating the death of a loan shark that no else really cares about. As the inspector methodically homes in on a suspect, his sidekick, Piras, who's recovering from a gunshot wound, privately pokes holes into what appears at first to be a suicide, but turns out to be something much darker. The charm of the series is the window it provides on Bordelli's character. He's a man of many quirks anxious about the future, conflicted about the women in his life, haunted by his war experiences two decades earlier. He takes life slowly, yet the many detours of his day lunches at his favorite trattoria, the angst he feels while Christmas shopping for his lady friend, hospital visits to a dying colleague engage the reader in far more than just the search for a murderer.