Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Orion New Blood - Massimo Carlotto

Orion published two books in Carlotto's 'Alligator' series before Europa Editions took over, releasing two non-series books in 2006.

From ProductWiki:
"Massimo Carlotto was born in Padua in 1956. During his teens he became a political activist in the famous leftist group Lotta Continua [Constant Struggle]. When he was 20 years old he found the maimed body of a murdered woman, Margherita Mugello, and ran to the nearest police station to report the crime. He was charged with murder himself, and put into prison. He became the defendant in one of the most famous judicial cases in Italian history, the so-called "Carlotto Case". Many observers think that the police and inquiring magistrates were politically biased, as the 1970's were tough times in the Belpaese, with demostrations repressed and dozens of political activists shot down by police officers. Carlotto always claimed his complete innocence. After he was sentenced guily, he fled the country and settled in Paris, France, under a false name. He pretended he was from Chile. With the Interpol hot on his heels, he escaped to Mexico City, where he mingled in the local activist community. After several years of exile he chose to return to Italy and give himself up to the authorities. While he was in prison, a vast grassroots movement petitioned for presidential mercy. He was pardoned and released in 1993, and began to write a memoir called Il fuggiasco [The Fugitive]."

Europa Editions list 'The Fugitive' as being released in April 2006 but doesn't list it.

'Death's Dark Abyss' is due out on 1 October:
"A riveting drama of guilt, revenge, and justice, Massimo Carlotto’s Death’s Dark Abyss tells the story of two men and the savage crime that binds them. During a robbery, Raffaello Beggiato takes a young woman and her child hostage and later murders them. Beggiato is arrested, tried, and sentenced to life. The victims’ father and husband, Silvano, plunges into an ever-deepening abyss until the day, years later, when the murderer seeks his pardon and Silvano turns predator as he ruthlessly plots his revenge."(from Europa Editions website)

In January 2006, Europa Editions published 'The Goodbye Kiss':

"An unscrupulous womanizer, as devoid of morals as he once was full of idealistic fervor, returns to Italy where he is wanted for a series of political crimes. To avoid prison he sells out his old friends, turns his back on his former ideals, and cuts deals with crooked cops. To achieve the guise of respectability he is willing to go even further, maybe even as far as murder." (from Europa Editions website)

I'm currently reading this, review to follow on Euro Crime shortly.

In January 2005, Orion published #5 in the 'Alligator series, 'The Master of Knots':

"Alligator - former blues singer and ex convict, now a private detective - finds himself pulled into a dark and unsettling case that uncovers an Italy known to very few. When Helena Giraldi is abducted, her husband approaches Alligator and his friends for help. Helena and Mariano lead a secret double life involving Italy's clandestine S&M scene. But Mariano seems more worried about losing his job and reputation than about seeing his wife again. Rossini, the old-style gangster who watches Alligator's back, doesn't want to get involved: he has his own reputation to consider. Only Max is determined to find the woman and bring her to safety. As Alligator and Max begin to investigate, they uncover a secretive and dangerous world in which brutality, duplicity and passion go hand in hand. Behind Helena's abduction is a shadowy figure known as The Master of Knots - who proves to be as powerful as he is psychotic. As more members of the underground scene start to disappear, Alligator and Max find themselves in a desperate race against time to reveal the true identity of The Master of Knots. Their search will lead them into a world where truth is an elusive concept, where no one is who they seem to be - and where the line between pleasure and pain simply doesn't exist." (from

Orion published #4 in the 'Alligator' series, 'The Colombian Mule', Dec 2003:
"When Colombian Arias Cuevas is caught trying to smuggle drugs through Venice airport, his fear isn't fuelled by the idea of prison. He's much more frightened of his aunt - it was her coke he took off with. The cops set up a sting to find out who was to be the recipient of the drugs, and art smuggler Nazzareno Corradi falls straight into the trap. But he's been set up. His lawyer hires 'the Alligator', and his fixer, Max, to find out what's going on. Soon it becomes apparent why Cuevas was so afraid - the aunt, La Tia, has left a bloody trail in her wake, is now looking to do some business in Italy, and she's not about to let anybody get in her way ..." (from

Reviewed on the Euro Crime website here.


Anonymous said...

The Goodbye Kiss was the basis for a deligtfully nasty 2006 Italian movie of the same name (at least in English). It stars and pretty boy Alessio Boni in the lead role and the wonderful Michele Placido as the dirty cop, and is dark and sick and a lot of fun, by the end. Plot-wise very similar to the book, and well-worth looking out for (unfortunately the Italian DVD is lacking English subtitles).

IMDb link:

Uriah Robinson said...

This is an Italian invasion!

In a few weeks I am going to see a free members preview at our local Picturehouse of Romanzo Criminale, an Italian Godfather or Good Fellas, luckily with English subtitles.

Anonymous said...

Romanzo Criminal is good, Uriah -- not great, but good. It suffers monumentally from the death the most interesting character about half-way in (I won't tell you who, don't worry), but it's still a pleasure to watch. Figures crossed, Italian cinema is finally on the way up!

Karen (Euro Crime) said...

Martha & Uriah - thanking you for commenting on my blog :-). I'd love to see The Goodbye Kiss - Alessio Boni - certainly fits in well with the descriptions in the book. Perhaps a version with subtitles will come along... and Uriah - I hope you enjoy Romanzo Criminale!