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Biography

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antonio pagliaro, italian crime novelistAntonio Pagliaro is an award winning italian novelist. He was born in Palermo in 1968. He lived in Scotland, Denmark, the Netherlands and Rome before coming back to Sicily. As a book reviewer and columnist, he has written on the newspapers “La Repubblica” and “Liberazione”. He has written a monthly column on crime fiction on the magazine “21”. For the publishing house “21 editore” he is the editor of Penarol mystery book series. He is author of breathtakingly matter-of-fact novels. His published works are the crime novels: “Il sangue degli altri” (“The blood of others”, Sironi 2007), “I cani di via Lincoln” (“The dogs of Lincoln Road”, Laurana 2010), “La notte del gatto nero” (“The night of the black cat”, Guanda 2012, amazon kindle bestseller), “Il bacio della bielorussa” (“The kiss of the Belarusian”, Guanda 2015) and the short true crime story “Il giapponese cannibale” (“The Japanese cannibal”, Senzapatria 2010). In 2014 he also was the editor of a collection of short stories about the town of Palermo: “Palermo criminale” (“Criminal Palermo”, Laurana 2014) in which twelve authors, including him. narrate the capital of Sicily in twelve intertwined short stories. His stories are written in a taut and sharp style that resembles Jean Patrick Manchette and Ferdinand von Schirach, very matter of fact and almost cool with a total lack of unnecessary material. Echoes of contemporary political and criminal events are found in his books.

Books

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il bacio della bielorussafacebook_logoIl bacio della bielorussa
The kiss of the Belarusian
Ugo Guanda editore, 2015
Pages: 304

A breath-taking thriller; an international intrigue that takes place between a disturbing springtime Holland and the envenomed beauty of Palermo. A mature, vividly written and compelling noir that blurs the lines between heroes and villains in a deadly kaleidoscope.

Two bodies fished out of a canal won’t speak. This is what Inspector Van den Bovenkamp of the Utrecht Police is up against. Too much time in the water has disfigured the bodies beyond recognition and made retrieving fingerprints impossible. All that’s left is a shred of a tattoo and a mysterious tag, as well as a rather unreliable witness.
Franz “the German” knows full well that the dead tell no tales. He’s a man of honour and a killer from Palermo; women can’t resist him but he keeps them at bay because “a soldier never falls in love”. But then, in the most unlikely of places, he meets a fragile, complicated and beautiful girl whose father has just been killed.

A tired inspector who’s determined to get to the bottom of things and a killer wrestling with a heart he didn’t know he had – two worlds apart are destined to clash. Van den Bovenkamp’s hunches lead him to Ludmilla Zamiatenko, a beautiful and shady Belarusian who has migrated to Palermo; and as the investigation pans out, it touches on the machinations of Sicilian politics and threatens international organised crime…

“Pagliaro tailors flawless dialogues to match each character. Leonard’s and Higgins’ lessons have never been put into practice with such mastery in Italian fiction” Satisfiction

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La notte del gatto nero
The night of the black cat
Ugo Guanda editore, 2012
Pages: 206

The Night of the Black Cat is the dark portrait of a man who comes up against a brutal and obtuse power that causes his son’s death. A man who is forced to take the step – the void that divides good from evil – that plunges him into a world of horror.
When his son Salvatore is arrested, Ribaudo’s life falls to pieces: Giovanni looses his job, his wife Vera takes refuge in prayer. When Salvatore dies in prison, his father starts living a wild life and one night he meets his past: Tony Abbondanza, a childhood friend who has had a successful criminal career. Tony knows who killed Salvatore. The two men embark on an avenging quest which leads them to a tragic discovery. But soon after Tony is caught in an ambush. His death leaves Giovanni without a reference point. His wife leaves him and he plunges into a vortex of violence with only one possible ending.

What the newspapers say:

“This is a perturbing novel, this The Night of the Black Cat by Antonio Pagliaro (Guanda). An obscure story in which no one is saved, that leaves no space for redemption, no chance of standing up to evilLa Repubblica (Read this review in English)

More reviews (in italian)

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i cani di via lincolnI cani di via Lincoln
The dogs of Lincoln Road
Laurana editore, 2010
Pages: 280

A taut superbly written noir thriller.

Palermo’s Chinatown, a night around the end of May. In the “Grande Pechino” chinese restaurant in Lincoln Road two Carabinieri discover a massacre: eight people have been shot dead, a woman is dying. Lieutenant Nino Cascioferro is in charge of the case, together with the district attorney Elisa Rubicone. Six of the dead are Chinese: it’s the family that owned the restaurant. One is an Italian journalist. And one has is hands and face mashed so badly that it’s impossible to identify him. The only survivor, the journalist’s wife, is under strict surveillance at the hospital, still unable to speak with the police.
Under the rule of Cosa Nostra, the city is divided in territories. Cascioferro’s reasoning goes: Lincoln road is in the boss Saro Trionfante’s territory. To him shops pay the pizzo and it’s his job to protect them. If there’s a killing to be done, one must ask Trionfante for permission. If someone slips up, is up to Trionfante to punish. So: either Saro Trionfante is involved in the killing, or he will react.
Meanwhile, mafia bosses, old freemasons and corrupt politicians have called a meeting: the massacre in Lincoln road has broken old balances and started up an inquiry that could uncover things that would be best let lie. While the mafia decides that a second massacre is necessary to put things right, Cascioferro discovers what the journalist was working on and decides he had better stop his investigation. But the attorney Elisa Rubicone pushes him on. In the meantime, in the basement of the restaurant where the massacre took place, another macabre discovery is made.

I cani di via Lincoln (The dogs of Lincoln Road) tells about an impossible inquiry: when nobody is innocent the justice is not that of the Law Courts and the destiny of the heroes is but one.

What the newspapers say:

You just have to read this second novel by Antonio Pagliaro, that’s it […]. It’s a blood dripping noir that takes place in a hostile and stinging city […]. Everything begins with eight corpses and an emotional lieutenant“. La Repubblica

The novel is costructed as best as one ever could, with a splendid list of characters and of scened that become permanent in our memories. It contains everything: farce and drama, love and melancholy. The only thing if leaves out is justice, which, when nobody is really innocent, is simply impossible“. Affaritaliani

We’re in Palermo. A Palermo covered with blood by collusion, free masons and the Mafia, red lanterns and Kalashnikovs and hanging dogs, in Lincoln Road“. La Sicilia

It’s a scary book, seriously scary. No psychopath killer could be as terrifying as this creeping connivance between mafia men, politicians and free masons that flourish thanks to an alliance with the Chinese underworld […].Here we only see the crude reality of a stratifed and expanded delinquency“. Mangialibri

More reviews (in italian)

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il giapponese cannibale Il giapponese cannibale
The Japanese cannibal
Senzapatria editore, 2010
Pages: 66

A fascinating true crime story.
Definitely unputdownable.

The true story of Issei Sagawa, a japanese student who in 1981 lives in Paris for a post lauream course.
He fall in love with a Dutch girl, invites her for dinner and poems reading. After some dinner and a german poem, he murders and cannibalizes her.
He is arrested but soon released to become a celebrity in Japan: writer, porn actor, film director, even restaurant reviewer.

 

 

“This little book is a real whim, just between Isherwood and Max Aub. I actually read it in one stroke”. Roberto Alajmo

Reviews (in italian)

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il sangue degli altri Il sangue degli altri
The blood of others
Sironi editore, 2007
Pages: 256

An international crime thriller inspired by the works of Anna Politkovskaja. An investigation that goes beyond easy stereotypes.

Sicily, 2005. The dynamics of today’s economy tied up with politics: a large financial operation, the opening of several casinos in Palermo, the scandal of questionable funding, two men shot dead.
A local journalist, Corrado Lo Coco, involved from the very beginning, happens to come by some very hot information. He discovers unexpected links between the men assassinated in Palermo and crimes that took place in former Soviet Union.
The actors in the international crime ring that is about to be uncovered are many. But new dangers and an unsettling truth await the journalist.

Enthralling, quick, inspiring, intriguing. Written in a clean and essential style, Il sangue degli altri (The blood of others) investigates the Sicilian and former Soviet Union realities. A fruit of the author’s imagination with echoes of contemporary political events.

What the newspaper say:

A great novel. The pages about Palermo, very little description but so true, and the pages about the journey to Chechnya and Russia, so sad and beautiful“. La Repubblica

There’s Sicily: the Sicily with the mafia that shoots, but also the Sicily where the Mafia make deals. Pagliaro has a firm hand, with dry description, without embellishments, dialogues ready to be heard“. La Sesia

More reviews (in italian)