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Blood Curse

Cover of Blood Curse

Blood Curse

Commissario Ricciardi Series, Book 2

Ricciardi has visions. He sees and hears the final seconds in the lives of victims of violent deaths. It is both a gift and a curse. It has helped him become one of the most acute and successful homicide detectives in the Naples police force. But all that horror and suffering has hollowed him out emotionally. He drinks and doesn't sleep. Other than his loyal partner Brigadier Maione he has no friends.

Naples, 1931. In a working class apartment in the Sanita' neighborhood an elderly woman by the name of Carmela Calise has been beaten to death. When Ricciardi and Maione arrive at the scene they start asking the neighbors questions. No one wants to talk but slowly a few interesting facts slip out. Carmela Calise was moonlighting as a fortuneteller and moneylender. In her decrepit apartment she would receive clients, among them some of the city's rich and powerful, predicting their futures in such a way as to manipulate and deceive. If economic ruin lurked in their futures, Calise was happy to help. For a price, of course. She had many enemies, those indebted to her, manipulated by her lies, disappointed by her prophesies or destroyed by her machinations. Murder suspects in this atmospheric thriller abound and Commissario Ricciardi, one of the most original and intriguing investigators in contemporary crime fiction, will have his work cut out for him.

Ricciardi has visions. He sees and hears the final seconds in the lives of victims of violent deaths. It is both a gift and a curse. It has helped him become one of the most acute and successful homicide detectives in the Naples police force. But all that horror and suffering has hollowed him out emotionally. He drinks and doesn't sleep. Other than his loyal partner Brigadier Maione he has no friends.

Naples, 1931. In a working class apartment in the Sanita' neighborhood an elderly woman by the name of Carmela Calise has been beaten to death. When Ricciardi and Maione arrive at the scene they start asking the neighbors questions. No one wants to talk but slowly a few interesting facts slip out. Carmela Calise was moonlighting as a fortuneteller and moneylender. In her decrepit apartment she would receive clients, among them some of the city's rich and powerful, predicting their futures in such a way as to manipulate and deceive. If economic ruin lurked in their futures, Calise was happy to help. For a price, of course. She had many enemies, those indebted to her, manipulated by her lies, disappointed by her prophesies or destroyed by her machinations. Murder suspects in this atmospheric thriller abound and Commissario Ricciardi, one of the most original and intriguing investigators in contemporary crime fiction, will have his work cut out for him.

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  • Publisher's Weekly

    June 3, 2013
    Aging tarot card reader Carmela Calise is bludgeoned to death in de Giovanni's (I Will Have Vengeance) very Italian second novel featuring Commissario Ricciardi, a man who can see the dead's final moments and hear their "last, obsessively repeated thought." A pensive and lonely figure, Ricciardi and his uncanny hunches generally earn his colleagues' mistrust, save for his steadfast champion Maione. This time around Maione has his own concerns, distracted by his own case involving gorgeous widow Filomena disfigurment. Set in Naples in 1931, the story delights in dichotomies: living and departed both crowd the streets, spring arrives in force after a long winter, primal needs determine the lives of the wealthy and working classes alike. These mysterious Neapolitan circles feature many subplots and suspects. Impoverished Filomena attracts unwanted propositions and hostilities from her neighbors, where the elevated social status of Emma Serra di Arpaja allows her to view beauty as her freedom from a cold marriage. As Carmela's second profession as a loan shark is uncovered, the narrative flicks between perspectives and disembodied thoughts to offer flashes of characters and possible suspects. Despite a few melodramatic missteps, the promise that each life will intersect keeps Ricciardi and Maione's investigation lively.

  • Library Journal

    October 15, 2013

    Commissario Ricciardi, first introduced in I Will Have Vengeance, sees the dead. They talk to him and tell him their thoughts. Ricciardi's "gift" helps solve crimes, but it isolates him from his colleagues. He can't burden them with the horror he sees around him every day. Besides, they'd think Ricciardi was crazy. A premise like this could make this novel unreal, but it doesn't. It's a well-crafted, ultimately moving crime novel set in 1931 Naples. When an old woman is battered to death, Ricciardi meets all sorts of characters in his search for a killer and a motive. Most of them see him, and the police, as their enemy. VERDICT This is a solid series with an intriguing detective, and fans will eagerly await the third volume, Everyone in Their Place: The Summer of Commissario Ricciardi, to be published in November.

    Copyright 2013 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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Blood Curse
Blood Curse
Commissario Ricciardi Series, Book 2
Maurizio de Giovanni
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