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.