In an elegant apartment in a chilly Alpine town a cleaning lady makes a gruesome discovery: the body of her employer hanging from a chandelier in a dark room in an apparent suicide.
Working the case is Deputy Police Chief Rocco Schiavone, banished from his beloved Rome to snowy, small-town Aosta. An incurable cynic, perpetually at war with the world – and the weather – Rocco is unconvinced that Esther killed herself.
Armed with his intuition and his inimitable brand of morality, he begins to hunt for a killer. But as he digs deeper into Esther’s life Rocco is increasingly troubled by personal matters: his dissatisfied girlfriend Nora; the very vocal memory of his deceased wife, Marina; and a score that still needs settling back in Rome.
Small towns can hide big secrets, but Rocco will do whatever it takes to bring them into the light.
Reviews of A Cold Death (A Rocco Schiavone Mystery)
- Praise for Black Run:
- ‘At last a detective who’s not haunted by personal demons or soaked in booze, a man who may not be entirely honest – indeed, you could call him corrupt as well as adulterous – but who glories in his job of solving crimes. He’s a coarse, violent and engaging policeman who would not be out of place in a James Ellroy masterpiece. The tale is deftly told with sharp, cynical dialogue. Let’s hear more of Schiavone.’ Daily Mail
- ‘Antonio Manzini has created an Italian detective to rival Andrea Camilleri’s Inspector Montalbano with deputy chief Rocco Schiavone’ GQ
- ‘An arresting murder mystery’ Monocle
- ‘The ranks of impressive Euro Noir novelists is swelled by the gritty Antonio Manzini, whose Black Run may sport epigraphs from Schilller and Mayakovsky, but underlines its genre-credentials with a superstructure of diamond-hard crime writing … this is lacerating stuff’ Barry Forshaw, Financial Times
- ‘Forget Montalbano. Commisario Rocco Schivone is grievous, coarse, violent … Wonderful, heartbreaking’ L’Uomo Vogue‘A writing style that captivates’ La Gioia
- ‘Corrupt and ingenious, Rocco Schiavone echoes Dudley Smith from L.A. Confidential … Cinematic and literary’ La Stampa
- ‘Rocco Schivone is as bad a cop as Lt. Kojak. Dishonest, potentially violent, intolerant of the rules, but he also has a talent for the job he does … an unusual character … Noir with a touch of dark irony’ Repubblica
- ‘Surly, moody, individualistic, unconventional, corrupt, abusive, with a dark past, Rocco Schiavone seems to come from the dark metropolis of a novel by James Ellroy’ L’Indice
- ‘Manzini devotes more space to his characters than to events; and the detective story is a pretext for talking brilliantly about the Italian society.’ Andrea Camilleri