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Wednesday 7 September 2022

‘The Wanderer’ Luca D’Andrea

Published by MacLehose Press,
6 January 2022.
ISBN: 978-1-52940-788-4 (HB)
Translated from the Italian by
Katherine Gregor.

Italian best-selling novelist Tony Carcano is peacefully walking his dog when he’s confronted by a girl on a motorbike who shows him a photograph from his cub reporter past. He’s posing by the dead body of a young woman ... the girl’s mother. The verdict was suicide, but Sybille believes she was murdered, and Tony decides to help her prove it.

This contemporary crime novel moves at a rattling pace. The very short chapters keep the reader alert as the story moves between Tony and Sib, past and present. It’s set in northern Italy, bordering the German-speaking region, in a town where everything is ruled by one family, and it soon becomes clear that the Perkman clan want the investigation stopped. There are locked-up family members and friends, disappearances, intimidation and, hovering behind it all, the mysterious figure of the Wanderer – an imaginary monster, or someone so twisted it’s hard to believe he could be living among them with an ordinary face? Tony and Sib are likeable characters – dog-lovers will enjoy Freddy, the ageing 110kg St Bernard.

The investigation twists and turns as new characters are drawn in. I lost track of the plot at intervals, but it was a fun ride. The overall feel is cosy, particularly because of the growing love between Tony and Sib, which was touchingly done, but the plot has Gothic elements.

A fast-moving contemporary crime novel with attractive main characters and an intricate plot.

Reviewer: Marsali Taylor

Luca D'Andrea was born in 1979 Bolzano, Italy, where he worked as a teacher for ten years. The Mountain, the most talked-about and fastest-selling book at London Book Fair 2016, was sold in more than 30 countries before it was first published in Italy. D’Andrea worked as a documentary maker himself, producing the film The Mountain for Italian TV.

Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland's scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland's distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.  Marsali also does a regular monthly column for the Mystery People e-zine.

Click on the title to read a review of her recent book
A Shetland Winter Mystery

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