Introducing Commissario Soneri - Italy's answer to Inspector Maigret - and shortlisted for the C.W.A. International Dagger, River of Shadows is a brooding, visceral crime novel packed with atmosphere and tension.
"A master storyteller" Barry Forshaw, Independent
A relentless deluge lashes the Po Valley, and the river itself swells beyond its limits. A barge breaks free of its moorings and drifts erratically downstream; when finally it runs aground its seasoned pilot is nowhere to be found.
The following day, an elderly man of the same surname falls from the window of a nearby hospital. Commissario Soneri, scornful of his superiors' scepticism, is convinced the two incidents are linked. Stonewalled by the bargemen who make their living along the riverbank, he scours the floodplain for clues. As the waters begin to ebb, the river yields up its secrets: tales of past brutality, bitter rivalry and revenge.
Valerio Varesi has been the Parma correspondent for La Stampa and La Repubblica. River of Shadows was the first of a series of thrillers featuring Commissario Soneri, now the central figure of one of Italy's most popular television dramas. It was followed in English translation by The Dark Valley, Gold Frankincense and Dust and A Woman Much Missed.