Romance and violence
Just six short chapters in, the protagonist, Fabio Montale, has yearned for lost loves, lost friends, lost opportunities, even for the tolerable aspects of his lost job as a police officer. These chapters are melancholy and gorgeous and full also of Izzo's sharp and sometimes unexpected political observations. The melancholy is enhanced by the reader's knowledge that the lost cousin whom Montale searches for has already been killed.
If you read French or Italian, Ile noire, Jazz al Nero and Andrea Fannini offer interesting discussions of Izzo. That last entry, a discussion of a book of Izzo's short writing called Aglio, menta e basilico – Marsiglia, il noir e il Mediterraneo, offers insight on the social and political concerns of Fabio Montale and the man who created him. And culinary concerns, too. The first part of the book's title means "garlic, mint and basil." Fabio Montale may be more melancholy in outlook than Andrea Camilleri's Salvo Montalbano or Manuel Vázquez Montalbán's Pepe Carvalho, but he eats just as well.
© Peter Rozovsky 2007