So I was pleased to read in the Wikipedia article about Scerbanenco that "his style was notable for the realistic way in which [it] conveyed and evoked the helplessness and despair of weak people being cruelly victimized."
One interesting note: While Manchette was a man of the political left, the Ukrainian-born Scerbanenco's "virulent and over-the-top anti-communism ... stemmed from the trauma of losing his father during the Russian revolution," according to the same article. Before New Rightniks claim him as one of their own, though, they should note that
"While denouncing the evils of the rampant consumeristic and greedy way of life taking hold from the 60s onward Scerbanenco always has a warm word for the peaceful, quiet, hard-working Milanese"A French translation of Duca and the Milan Murders won the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière for international crime fiction in 1968 (The novel's Italian title, Traditori di tutti, translates as Betrayers of All.) Scerbanenco is considered the father of Italian noir, and Italy's top crime fiction prize is named for him.
None of Scerbanenco's work is in print in English, as far as I know. If they would consider reprints, this book would make a fine addition to Europa Editions or Serpent's Tail's lists alongside such authors as Carlo Lucarelli, Jean-Claude Izzo, Gene Kerrigan and Manuel Vázquez Montalbán.
Here's a bit about the author and the book. And here's a short excerpt:
"Dr. Duca Lamberti?"© Peter Rozovsky 2010
The voice, too, was offensive in its exemplary politeness, its exemplary diction. It was a voice that would have done credit to a teacher of elocution. Duca detested perfection of this sort.
"Yes, I am Duca Lamberti." He stood there blocking the doorway. He did not invite the caller in. The way he dressed seemed to Duca odious. Admittedly, it was spring, but this young man was already going about in a cardigan, no jacket, just this light grey cardigan with dark grey suede cuffs, and—in case anybody should imagine that he could not afford a jacket—he was carrying a pair of light gray driving-gloves, not the cheap kind with no backs, but real gloves, good gloves, with leather backs and intricately crocheted palms. It was impossible to avoid noticing these details. The gloves were very much on show, as though to make it quite plain that their owner possessed a car worthy of such a handsome pair of gloves.
"May I come in?" He was glowing with cordiality, insincere cordiality, insincerely spontaneous.