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La sostanza del male by Luca D'Andrea
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La sostanza del male (original 2016; edition 2017)

by Luca D'Andrea (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2193097,850 (3.63)20
In Luca D'Andrea's atmospheric and brilliant thriller, set in a small mountain community in the majestic Italian Dolomites, an outsider must uncover the truth about a triple murder that has gone unsolved for thirty years. New York City native Jeremiah Salinger is one half of a hot-shot documentary-making team. He and his partner, Mike, made a reality show about roadies that skyrocketed them to fame. But now Salinger's left that all behind, to move with his wife, Annelise, and young daughter, Clara, to the remote part of Italy where Annelise grew up--the Alto Adige. Nestled in the Dolomites, this breathtaking, rural region that was once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire remains more Austro than Italian. Locals speak a strange, ancient dialect--Ladino--and root for Germany (against Italy) in the world cup. Annelise's small town--Siebenhoch--is close-knit to say the least and does not take kindly to out-of-towners. When Salinger decides to make a documentary about the mountain rescue group, the mission goes horribly awry, leaving him the only survivor. He blames himself, and so--it seems--does everyone else in Siebenhoch. Spiraling into a deep depression, he begins having terrible, recurrent nightmares. Only his little girl Clara can put a smile on his face. But when he takes Clara to the Bletterbach Gorge--a canyon rich in fossil remains--he accidentally overhears a conversation that gives his life renewed focus. In 1985, three students were murdered there, their bodies savaged, limbs severed and strewn by a killer who was never found. Although Salinger knows this is a tightlipped community, one where he is definitely persona non grata, he becomes obsessed with solving this mystery and is convinced it is all that can keep him sane. And as Salinger unearths the long kept secrets of this small town, one by one, the terrifying truth is eventually revealed about the horrifying crime that marked an entire village. Completely engrossing and deeply atmospheric, Beneath The Mountain is a thriller par excellence. "Can be compared (with no fear of hyperbole) to Stephen King and Jo Nesbø."--La Repubblica… (more)
Member:ottoran
Title:La sostanza del male
Authors:Luca D'Andrea (Author)
Info:Einaudi (2017), Edition: 1, 456 pages
Collections:Your library
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Beneath the Mountain by Luca D'Andrea (2016)

  1. 00
    The Abominable by Dan Simmons (ashmolean1)
    ashmolean1: Mountain setting and possible mythical creature wreaking havoc. Both very well written and keep you hooked.
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» See also 20 mentions

English (22)  Dutch (2)  Catalan (2)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  Polish (1)  All languages (30)
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
A fabulous thriller from Start to Finish.
Have added this fantastic book to my Read Again List and look forward to the next book from this remarkable Author. ( )
  dano35ie | Jul 25, 2020 |
This is a twisty thriller set in a small alpine village. Just when you think you’ve got it all worked out, there’s another twist. The setting is a character in itself, sinister and dangerous. The writing is engaging and praise is also due to the translator. There were times when I’d wonder where the story was going and if we’d ever get there, but looking back, it’s clear that all of the events were necessary for the finale. ( )
  DGRachel | Jul 9, 2020 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
D'Andrea's Beneath the Mountain may not be for every reader of suspense, but I thought it was absolutely breathtaking.

Full of atmosphere and mystery, as well as believable characters who pull the story along just as much as the plot, this is a masterfully crafted novel of literary suspense. It's not the typical suspense novel, it's true--much of the tension comes and goes, and it's undeniably tied to the struggling protagonist, but D'Andrea does such a gorgeous job of building the novel's peaks and allowing the characters to breathe their own lives, I found the book impossible to put down.

For readers who want character-driven suspense and mystery, that characters as much about subtleties of character as it does high-octane drama (though it's got that to spare also), I'd absolutely recommend this book. It kept me guessing, and it's made me a fan of the author for life.

Absolutely recommended. ( )
  whitewavedarling | Apr 20, 2019 |
Note: I received an uncorrected proof of this novel at Bouchercon 2017.

****

Fresh off the success of his reality show about roadies, Jeremiah Salinger moves to the small town of Siebenhoch, in the Dolomites, with his wife and daughter. For his next project, he pitches a series about the town’s mountain rescue team. The idea is a good one; however, the mission he goes on is caught in an avalanche and he is the only survivor. Wracked with guilt and post-traumatic stress, he ends up being drawn to the story of the triple murder in Bletterbach Gorge, taking on the investigation as a form of coping with his new circumstances. But Siebenhoch is a small town and won’t give up its secrets easily, even to one married to one of its daughters.

Overall, this story was OK. It had an interesting setting, and I particularly liked the use of the local dialect in dialogue. But I didn’t particularly warm to Salinger, thinking him a bit of a selfish idiot for consistently lying to his wife and making excuses for it. In terms of the story, a patient reader could probably figure out who the killer is, but if you’re just going along for the ride you might not guess (and that’s OK). The ending is somewhat bananas and I’m not sure I bought one particular element of it.

My uncorrected proof could certainly have used correction, and I hope the copyeditors gave it a good going-over before publication. That said, I did try to not let the typos and wonky formatting distract me from the story. In a way it was quite instructive to read a proof at this stage of publication, because it highlights just how much work editors do. If you find a couple of typos in a finished book, imagine how many other things they managed to catch!

I’m not sure whether I’d recommend this to others. Let’s just say I wouldn’t actively dissuade you. ( )
1 vote rabbitprincess | Sep 7, 2018 |
A good if not wholly convincing effort at a convoluted crime story with not go much twists as unfortunate red herrings. I’ve not been convinced by it but found it easy & relatively fun to read. The main protagonists I didn’t really find that sympathetic & I found some of the premise especially with regards to geological throwback s to be unconvincing. Overall a holiday read but nothing more. ( )
  aadyer | Aug 19, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Het hart van het kwaad is de eerste thriller van de Italiaanse schrijver Luca D’Andrea. En om maar gelijk met de deur in huis te vallen, zijn thrillerdebuut is meer dan geslaagd te noemen. Het boek vertelt het verhaal van Jeremiah Salinger, een succesvolle Amerikaanse scenarioschrijver, die na een drukke periode samen met zijn vrouw Annelise en zijn dochtertje na de Italiaanse Dolomieten vertrekt om tot rust te komen...lees verder >
 

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Luca D'Andreaprimary authorall editionscalculated
Curtis, HowardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Voor Alessandra, het kompas op mijn stormachtige zeeën
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Zo gaat het altijd. In het ijs hoor je eerst de stem van het Beest. Dan sterf je.
That's how it always is. In the ice, first you hear the voice of the Beast, then you die.
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In Luca D'Andrea's atmospheric and brilliant thriller, set in a small mountain community in the majestic Italian Dolomites, an outsider must uncover the truth about a triple murder that has gone unsolved for thirty years. New York City native Jeremiah Salinger is one half of a hot-shot documentary-making team. He and his partner, Mike, made a reality show about roadies that skyrocketed them to fame. But now Salinger's left that all behind, to move with his wife, Annelise, and young daughter, Clara, to the remote part of Italy where Annelise grew up--the Alto Adige. Nestled in the Dolomites, this breathtaking, rural region that was once part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire remains more Austro than Italian. Locals speak a strange, ancient dialect--Ladino--and root for Germany (against Italy) in the world cup. Annelise's small town--Siebenhoch--is close-knit to say the least and does not take kindly to out-of-towners. When Salinger decides to make a documentary about the mountain rescue group, the mission goes horribly awry, leaving him the only survivor. He blames himself, and so--it seems--does everyone else in Siebenhoch. Spiraling into a deep depression, he begins having terrible, recurrent nightmares. Only his little girl Clara can put a smile on his face. But when he takes Clara to the Bletterbach Gorge--a canyon rich in fossil remains--he accidentally overhears a conversation that gives his life renewed focus. In 1985, three students were murdered there, their bodies savaged, limbs severed and strewn by a killer who was never found. Although Salinger knows this is a tightlipped community, one where he is definitely persona non grata, he becomes obsessed with solving this mystery and is convinced it is all that can keep him sane. And as Salinger unearths the long kept secrets of this small town, one by one, the terrifying truth is eventually revealed about the horrifying crime that marked an entire village. Completely engrossing and deeply atmospheric, Beneath The Mountain is a thriller par excellence. "Can be compared (with no fear of hyperbole) to Stephen King and Jo Nesbø."--La Repubblica

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