Black Run

Antonio Manzini

The dark flanks of the Alps tower over everything. Wind whistles through the fir trees. An expanse of ice and snow with no end in sight. A growing stain. A mess of flesh and blood. A corpse buried six inches under the snow.

Enter Rocco Schiavone, Deputy Police Chief and a man who has more beautiful women in his bed than sensible shoes under it. He’s stuck in this backwards Alpine town after getting on the wrong side of the wrong people and longs for the fritto misto, cobbled streets and lucky breaks of his beloved Rome. He hates this place and the provincial locals almost as much as his superiors for their petty rules and for exiling him here. On top of that, he’s got a body to deal with and this mangled corpse is “a pain in the ass, number 10 on the scale, summa cum laude”…

There is blood on the black run and nothing to identify the victim but a tattoo of Luisa Pec, owner of a bar popular with the locals and a pair of blue eyes popular with Rocco. Was it a crime of passion? Or of jealousy? And how are the mafia involved? Rocco Schivone is on the case, the first in a sensational new crime series.

Reviews of 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