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I Will Have Vengeance by Maurizio DeGiovanni
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I Will Have Vengeance (original 2007; edition 2012)

by Maurizio DeGiovanni, Anne Milano Appel (Translator)

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767158,327 (3.63)1
Member:bcquinnsmom
Title:I Will Have Vengeance
Authors:Maurizio DeGiovanni
Other authors:Anne Milano Appel (Translator)
Info:Hersilia Press (2012), Paperback, 216 pages
Collections:Your library, translated fiction, Italian crime fiction, mystery and crime fiction
Rating:**1/2
Tags:Italian crime fiction/mystery, translated fiction

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I Will Have Vengeance by Maurizio de Giovanni (2007)

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This is the first in a series featuring an enigmatic Naples detective, Commissario Ricciardi, and set during the Fascist 1930s. Ricciardi inherited an interesting trait from his mother - the dead talk to him, appealing for justice. Sometime after their death, the images fade and they haunt him no longer. But just after they have died they pose puzzles about their death. You would think this might be advantageous for a homicide detective like Ricciardi but in fact the murder victim rarely tells him straight out who committed the deed. In the case of the murdered tenor Vezzi, Ricciardi picks up hints rather than proof.

So Ricciardi insists that he enter a murder scene alone for a few minutes at first, to see what the dead person has to "say". In the case of Vezzi there are things that just don't make sense. As always those higher up the order are pressing for a quick apprehension of the murderer. Vezzi is a house-hold word with even Il Duce's office taking an interest. When a young man confesses to the murder the Vice-Questore pressures Ricciardi to charge him quickly but he still feels that there are things that don't add up. Ricciardi's superiors find him prickly, rather uncompromising, and at times downright uncooperative. It is not secret that only his assistant Brigadier Maione will work with him.

While the series is set in Naples at the beginning of the 1930s I don't feel that the historical details are particularly influential. They really provide setting only. You are not going to learn much Italian history from reading this book. There is an interesting section at the end of the e-book where the translator explains some of the historical references. But after all de Giovanni's primary audience is Italian readers who know a lot about their own history, not non-Italians who know little. So the Italian reader will mentally fill in a lot of supplementary detail from a simple reference to, for example, the hairnet that Ricciardi wears to bed.

Overall though, a good read, and I will look forward to another. ( )
  smik | Jun 26, 2014 |
'I Will have Vengence' is my first encounter with Maurizio de Giovanni, and on the basis of it I look forward to starting 'The Crocodile', which lies close to hand awaiting my attention. Commissario Ricciardi is an effective investigator, if a solitary-type figure, based in Naples in the fascist 1930s, and together with his loyal assistant Maione he investigates the murder of a famous if much disliked Italian opera singer, found dead in his dressing room during a public performance. The victim was apparently a favourite of Il Duce, so the pressure in on Ricciardi from his superiors for a speedy resolution. This of course poses a problem for Ricciardi in resolving the matter to his own satisfaction, for he is far from convinced by the solution that initially presents itself. Ricciardi is resolute in his attempts to see justice prevail, but as the complexity of events begins to unfold, you begin to wonder how that might happen. A twist in the tale is called for you feel, but is there one?

Ricciardi is an enigmatic but likable character, the nature of which will add considerably to your interest level in this book. He is a wealthy aristocrat who leads a rather solitary existence, he sees the ghosts of those who have died violently, he has an admiration that borders on an infatuation for a neighbour who he has never met but who he likes to observe each evening as she sits embroidering by her window, and he wears a hairnet to bed. Furthermore, he has no time for the pretentiousness of some of those he encounters during his investigations, something that marks him out as an anti-establishment type figure, which in 1930s fascist Italy one might think could be to his disadvantage.

I would have welcomed a little more of a sense of fascist Italy and Naples in the 1930s, but that is my only quibble, my being greedy. This is a relatively short, slow-paced book, but one I think you will enjoy. I know I did. ( )
  ebyrne41 | Jan 6, 2014 |
Naples, March 1931: a bitter wind stalks the city streets, and murder lies at its chilled heart. As one of the world s greatest tenors, Maestro Vezzi, is found brutally murdered in his dressing room at Naples famous San Carlo Theatre, the enigmatic and aloof Commissario Ricciardi is called in to investigate. Arrogant and bad-tempered, Vezzi was hated by many, but with the livelihoods of the opera at stake, who would have committed this callous act? Ricciardi, along with his loyal colleague, Maione, is determined to discover the truth. But Ricciardi carries his own secret: will it help him solve this murder? ( )
1 vote powertriangle | Apr 6, 2013 |
Recensione su : http://wp.me/p3X6aw-2B ( )
  Saretta.L | Mar 31, 2013 |
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In 1930s fascist Naples, the enigmatic Commissario Ricciardi investigates the brutal murder of an infamous tenor, a case that is marked by the assistance of a loyal colleague and Ricciardi's own secrets.

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