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These Dark Things (2011)

by Jan Merete Weiss(Favorite Author)
3.17 of 5 Votes: 3
1569479380 (ISBN13: 9781569479384)
Soho Crime
Captain Natalia Monte
review 1: I admit to being in love with all things Italian. So when I read about this book, I knew I had to read it. I'm a fan of Donna Leon's Inspector Brunetti series which takes place in Venice. I've also read one or two Aurelio Zen mysteries although I didn't care for the writing style as much. (On the other hand PBS televised Vendetta last summer. It was excellent.) Inspector Brunetti is always on the side of justice, but knows that the intricacies of Italian justice and society often make that impossible to achieve. Aurelio Zen holds a similar view, but the irony is unmistakable. In this series we meet Captain Natalia Monte of the Carabinieri, a national police force. The setting is Naples, a city known for its corruption. Natalia also has a passion for justice. Yet at the sam... moree time, one of her closest friends is Lola, who is married to a foot soldier in the Gambini organized crime family. Organized crime has become uglier and more ruthless than in the past in modern Naples. They think nothing of blowing up someone's entire family to get their point across. Shopkeepers pay monthly tribute. They have control over garbage collection in Naples. Because the politicians are trying to put in a new incinerator and the landfills are full, there is a standoff and no garbage is being picked up. The city looks and smells like a sewer. Yet there are still beautiful places, and the author's description let you see the beauty behind the ugliness. When a beautiful young woman is found brutally murdered in what looks like a ritual killing, the Carabinieri are called in because the setting is an historic landmark. This book really draws you into Naples. I felt like I was actually walking the streets. I could picture the upscale, the slums, the winding streets, the street urchins, the old ladies, the hookers and more. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.
review 2: This was a disappointment. Sounded so good - a female state police captain in Naples, criminal organizations, bone cleaners, and Jesuits. The characters were not interesting and very little back story to establish them for a 1st book in a series. And Naples obviously not the place to place a series. There is nothing intriguing or compelling to the city (and I was surprised). It's dirty, poverty stricken, and depressing. The whole book is a downer. less
Reviews (see all)
I have never been to Naples, but I feel as if I have walked those dark streets.
You would never want to visit Naples after reading this book.
I would rate this 3 1/2.
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