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The Deliverance of Evil (A Commissario Balistreri Mystery) Hardcover – February 11, 2014
The Amazon Book Review
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*Starred Review* Bracketed by World Cup fever, initially in 1986 and then in 2006, this first in a highly anticipated trilogy—winner of Italy’s Scerbanenco Prize for best crime novel—gets off to a rousing start with a long (perhaps too long) and highly complex tale of corruption that encompasses the Vatican, the police, and the Italian government. Michele Balistreri is a young commissario in 1986, more interested in carousing than in his job, when a beautiful young woman, Elisa Sordi, who works at the Vatican complex, is reported missing. Refusing to be distracted from watching the Cup final, Balistreri fails to respond quickly. Elisa’s body is eventually found in the Tiber, and Balistreri’s inability to capture the murderer stains his career. Nearly 20 years later, again on the eve of an Italian appearance in the World Cup final, Balistreri has rebounded, at least professionally, when Elisa’s mother commits suicide, and a string of succeeding murders suggests a connection to the earlier crime. Throwing himself into the case as a way of seeking long-needed personal redemption, Balistreri becomes embroiled in a many-tentacled conspiracy whose connections to the powerful threaten to end his career once and for all. Costantinis byzantine plot seems impenetrable at times, but the compelling character of the antiheroic Balistreri, a former Fascist, holds it together, much as the powerful figure of Lisbeth Salander keeps Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy from capsizing during its more convoluted turns. Balistreri may not be quite as perversely appealing as Salander, but he is every bit as flawed and a lot more vulnerable, and the combination provides just the right engine to drive this lumbering but still compelling narrative. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A 150,000 first printing and a matching marketing campaign will get this debut novel the attention it deserves. --Bill Ott
"The Deliverance of Evil is one of the most unusual (and successful) recent thrillers."―Antonio Gnoli, La Repubblica
"The Deliverance of Evil is a remarkably dark thriller which starts against the backdrop of Italy winning the World Cup in 1982 and concludes in 2006 just as they are about to be victorious again. A vicious murderer who first struck twenty-four years earlier is waiting to kill again. The author combines the plotting and pace of international crime with the poise and prowess of literary fiction, striating the narrative with topical political insight"―Ali Karim, Shotsmag
"[Constantini] delivers compelling drama... the gripping strength of the novel lies in its passionate portrayal of a corrupt and criminal Italy, from seedy traffickers to the Vatican."―Marcel Berlins, The Times
"[A] tale of personal and political corruption, expediency and revenge engages... Costantini has created a fascinating protagonist, first seen as a thirtysomething womaniser with fascist sympathies, and then as an older, sadder and wiser man, bent on making amends for past mistakes."―Laura Wilson, The Guardian
"[A] commanding debut thriller.... Costantini spins a politically charged, Machiavellian tale of fiendish complexity."―Publishers Weekly
"Utterly compelling"―Peter May, author of The Blackhouse
"The engaging Italian police procedural provides the audience with a fascinating psychological look at how ug...―
"Rich with fascinating political history, filled with brilliant psychological insight, and a nonstop thriller... Bravo!"―Jeffery Deaver, The October List
"Readers can immerse themselves in la dolce vita as Costantini's charismatic detective, Commissario Michele Balistreri, solves a complex mystery centered on the nature of evil.... Costantini tells an engrossing story of corruption and revenge, until near the end, when he kills off all the suspects, leaving little doubt as to the identity of the murderer."―Anna Creer, The Sidney Morning Herald
"In his debut Costantini has proven himself an absolute master."―Antonio D'Orrico, Corriere della Sera
Top customer reviews
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Frankly, I could not wait to get to the real crux of the story.
The book was translated from Italian and while a good job, found a few quirks
in the translation.
Yet that being said, it is also a tear of a mystery. Its complexity makes for difficult reading until for me one third of the way through. Until that time I found the protagonist to be unpleasant and not very interesting. Yet Commissario Balistreri's personality and history becomes more and more interesting as the tale progresses.
This is an epic murder spanning a twenty year period much like "Night of the Generals." Insightful beyond what the genre usually provides, it is unique. View it as a concoction of themes from popular pot-boilers such a clerical corruption, middle age pessimism, serial killers, sexual deviancy, unrequited love that transcend the genre of entertainment and approaches literature.
Most recent customer reviews
The first in the trilogy featuring detective Michele Balistreri. The novel's main focus is the 1982 unsolved murder of Elisa Sordi.Read more