From Publishers Weekly
Billed as a novel, this less than compelling account by one of Italy's top authors of crime fiction focuses on the six years he spent as a fugitive from Italian justice for a murder he claims he didn't commit. After an Italian court upheld his murder conviction in 1979, Carlotto (The Goodbye Kiss
) lived in Paris, Madrid and Mexico City. He describes in some detail his various disguises, people he met in the expatriate communities, techniques for evading capture and sources of income—primarily his family and wages as a translator. What's lacking, however, is any sense of urgency. During his years on the run, Carlotto was never pursued by Italian authorities; he finally gave himself up in 1985. Though fortunate for him, the result is a flat, suspenseless plot. Originally published in 1994 in Italy, this short book contains frequent digressions into local politics and the machinations of Carlotto's legal case—including his eventual presidential pardon—that interfere with his story of personal flight. (Apr.)
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Carlotto, considered one of Italy's foremost crime writers, spent time in prison for a crime he did not commit. The victim of a politically motivated conspiracy, he also spent time on the lam, a fugitive from justice, living in foreign countries under false identities. This is the lightly fictionalized story of those years on the run, and it's a gripping tale, whether read as a novel or as a memoir. Carlotto's ordeal began in 1976, when he was charged for a murder and convicted; running out of appeals and knowing the fix was in, he decided to run, and between 1982 and 1985--the focus of this novel--he created a variety of identities, supported himself with numerous menial jobs, and learned that trusting in others is a very risky business. As exciting as that other Fugitive
, this roman a clef (originally published in Italy in 1994) combines compelling crime drama with a searing portrait of a justice system gone horribly wrong. It also reads like a step-by-step guide on how to live under the radar. David PittCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved