Saturday, April 18, 2015

Black Run (Rocco Schiavone #1) by Antonio Manzini

Rocco does not like living in the mountains.  He'd rather be in Rome where there's lot of action and lots of people about.  The village he lives in has a population around 400 and they all related to each other.  So when one of them gets killed, he knows it's going to be hard to get the truth from anyone...

Harper Books sent me an ARC of this book to read for review (thank you).  It will be published this month, so you can check with your local bookstore for a copy.

Rocco is not easy to like.  He's moody, a bit mean, has lost his wife but has a girlfriend, and is willing to do a few things on the side to enhance his income.  He came here because of how he acted in Rome, but he's unwilling to talk about that.  He has few friends.  He thinks half his cop help is totally stupid.  He's just not a nice man.  But he's very good at solving crimes.

He gets called out to a snow run to see a body.  The man has been run over by a snow cat because he was buried in the snow and the driver didn't see him.  There's not much left of him.

As Rocco digs into the past and listens to the nuances of the present he finds a strange tale about a beautiful woman.  She's left the ex boyfriend behind, been married a few years now and is pregnant.  He suspects the man's brother or the ex boyfriend, and he investigates them.  He also gets the mail for the dead man delivered to him.  With threats and fists, he gets what he wants, even if it is unorthodox.

He knows he's found a clue when he opens a piece of mail that talks about the dead man's sperm count.  When he gets it explained to him, it opens a new door of investigation.

Despite being a bit mean, angry and depressed, he obviously has some good bones in his body.  When they are attempting to steal some marijuana and take a bit for themselves to sell, they find a container full of refugees.  He keeps them safe and warm and he helps transport them to their rendezvous site.  Mr. Manzini has made a deep character that fascinates me.  I never know if he's going to be good or bad...

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