Carte Blanche

Carte Blanche

Book - 2006
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April 1945, Italy. Commissario De Luca is heading up a dangerous investigation into the private lives of the rich and powerful during the frantic final days of the facist regime. The hierarchy has guaranteed De Luca their full cooperation, just so long as he arrests the "right" suspect. The house of cards built by Mussolini in the last months of WWII is collapsing and De Luca faces a world mired in sadistic sex, dirty money, drugs and murder.
Publisher: New York : Europa Editions ; London : Turnaround [distributor], 2006, c1990
Branch Call Number: FICTION LUC
Characteristics: 108 p. ; 21 cm

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stephanlh
Feb 21, 2014

I did not read the book, but I did enjoy the Italian-language movie (with subtitles). No parlo bene la lingua italiana

SB2000 Apr 13, 2012

The first of a trilogy of short (but beautifully formed) noir style thrillers by one of Italy's leading crime writers. Detective De Luca is trying to investigate a seemingly "ordinary" murder as the Salo Republic (Germany's puppet fascist state in the north of Italy at the end of WWII) crumbles about him. As everyone starts to conspire to survive the transition to the inevitable Allied victory (or flee its consequences), De Luca finds that the murder leads places he would rather not go. Lucarelli's terse, well constructed prose (ably tanslated into English) evokes the world of treacherously opaque politics in the chaos of a crumbling regime. The murder mystery at the heart of the story is well crafted but the novel is really an examination of a man and a society. At the birth pangs of a new nation, where everyone and everything is compromised (just to survive), it poses questions about the pursuit and the costs of truth, society's need and abuse of truth and memory, an individual's personal responsibility and conscience, and the way power shapes victims and blame. Part of a sequence of novels (it is easy to read all three in the space of a week or so), it develops these ideas as it follows its protagonist. But just as the characters are not let of the hook, nor can readers expect to be given answers to the questions posed. A class act!

c
CB2295
Jan 10, 2012

This the first book in the Italian Commissario De Luca trilogy set in Bologna; the story shows the real-life complexity of wartime Italy; the plot is a bit difficult to follow even though the story is a short one, plus it ends abruptly; not a lot of characterization; too much of a bare-bones, rush-through story and therefore not an engaging read; maybe other ones in the series are better but I don’t think I'll bother to find out.

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