Hersilia. Dec. 2013. 256p. tr. from Italian by Howard Curtis. ISBN 9780957480605. pap. $14.95. M
Scerbanenco's (d. 1969) dark, moody novels have much in common with the darkest of Scandinavian crime fiction—say, Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö, Stieg Larsson, or Jens Lapidus's Stockholm noir series. Duca Lamberti (A Private Venus) lost his license to practice as a doctor and served time in jail. He earns his living now as a police informer and part-time detective. A woman comes to Duca for an illegal operation and soon after is brutally murdered. Thus starts a deluge of lies, betrayals, and killings that point back 20 years to the German occupation of Italy. Looking at the mutilated body of a butcher who's been torn apart with his own tools, Duca muses, "Is a wolf a misfit?" Perhaps some of us can never be tamed.
VERDICT This forgotten noir classic from 1966 is finally available in translation. That's good news!
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