Steffen Jacobsen

Thrill and corruption in Italy

By Lars Ole Sauerberg

It is rare for a novelist to completely sever his roots in a familiar country and compose a story set completely abroad. This is what the Danish orthopedic surgeon Steffen Jacobsen successfully does in his third thriller, set in Italy.

As a crane cable breaks during the loading a ship in Naples, a container crashes and discloses not only the plastic-wrapped corpses of illegal workers destined for a discreet burial at sea, but also the remnants of Italian citizens reported missing. The unpleasant findings start a race between the criminal organization the Camorra and the Italian authorities.

Sabrina D’Avalos, a young, brilliantly gifted and goodlooking vice-district-attorney and last scion of old Italian nobility, is trusted with the case of linking the dead and maimed bodies to a series of killings a few years earlier, which also included her own father, a zealous anti-mafia high-ranking police officer.

A link between the illegal workers, the dead Italians, and her own father is the fashion industry centered on Milan. As it turns out, the objects of the Camorra anger is a small syndicate of designers and scientists who seem to have found a solution for the problem of protecting original design products from illegally fabricated copies. With such a copy the whole Camorra-controlled copy industry will come to a halt and a considerable source of income will run dry.

As Sabrina, who might be a not so distant cousin of Swedish Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander, closes in on her prey, the situation becomes unbearably tense, and the costs of fighting organized Italian crime prove considerable.

Steffen Jacobsen
Photo: Thomas A.


Steffen Jacobsen
Når de døde vågner / When the Dead Awaken
C&K Forlag 2011, 350 pp.

Foreign Rights
ILA Literary Agency

Previous titles published in
Germany, Italy, Norway

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