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A Cold Death

Antonio Manzini

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Fourth Estate

Published : 2016

Copyright : Antonio Manzini 2015

ISBN-10 : PB 0-00-812433-7
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-00-812433-5

Publisher's Write-Up

Small towns can hide big secrets, but Rocco Schiavone will do whatever it takes to bring them into the light. The second novel in the internationally bestselling series from Italian crime maestro Antonio Manzini.

In an elegant apartment in a chilly Alpine town a cleaning lady makes a gruesome discovery: the body of her employer hanging from a chandelier in a dark room in an apparent suicide.

Working the case is Deputy Police Chief Rocco Schiavone, banished from his beloved Rome to snowy, small-town Aosta. An incurable cynic, perpetually at war with the world – and the weather – Rocco is unconvinced that Esther killed herself.

Armed with his intuition and his inimitable brand of morality, he begins to hunt for a killer. But as he digs deeper into Esther’s life Rocco is increasingly troubled by personal matters: his dissatisfied girlfriend Nora; the very vocal memory of his deceased wife, Marina; and a score that still needs settling back in Rome.

'An Italian detective to rival Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Montalbano.'


'Diamond-hard crime writing … this is lacerating stuff.'

Financial Times
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Reader Reviews

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Review by Chrissi (310816) Rating (8/10)

Review by Chrissi
Rating 8/10
Rocco Schiavone is still stuck in Aosta. It is almost spring but it is still snowing and his feet are still cold in his Clarks Desert Boots. He attends a call where a woman is found dead from hanging, and something seems not quite right about the scene but when he is told by the medical examiner that she was effectively hung twice, then he sets about finding who and why.

Rocco becomes a rather more sympathetic character in this book than he was when we first met him in Black Run. He still refuses to turn on his phone until he has started his morning with a hand rolled cigarette of dubious stuff, but here we learn more about the events that led to his exile from Rome. His relationships with his ex-colleagues are strong and based on mutual respect, even though he seems only to have time for his Aosta colleagues Italo Pierron and Caterina Rispoli. The terrible twosome of incompetent policemen, Deruta and D’Intimo, do not appear much in this book but do provide a moment of light relief when caught on camera, and the events are well described and daft enough to make you smile as you read them.

The case itself is interesting and kind of disturbing. It is not graphic in the way of some grisly killings but it is still an engaging brain teaser. I do not normally read thrillers trying to spot the killers, and so am always surprised at the reveal, and this one certainly managed it. I enjoyed this and read it in only three sittings, which is good for me these days.

This author has a gift for leaving an impression, and I remembered the description of the cold from Black Run, and it added to the feeling of the bleakness that comes at the end of winter, when spring is expected but elusive. I had the impression that the events are not long after those of Black Run, but I do not think that you would have to read the two to follow the story of Rocco Schiavone, which is developing quite nicely indeed.
Chrissi (31st August 2015)

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