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The Master of Knots by Massimo Carlotto

The Master of Knots

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Italian crime writer, with a noir thriller featuring ex-con private detective Alligator. The Authorâs own life story is incredibly dramatic: he went on the run after being charged with murder, was recaptured in Mexico, sent back to Italy, sentenced to prison and finally pardoned in 1993.

If you like Massimo Carlotto you might also like to read books by Magdalen Nabb, Andrea Camilleri and Michael Dibdin.

Win Books from the Manon Bradshaw Thriller Series!

Persons Unknown, the second book in Susie Steiner's crime thriller series, is now out in paperback and to mark the publication we are giving away paperback copies of both Missing, Presumed and Persons Unknown to THREE lucky winners!

To have a chance of winning one of these fantastic prizes, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once.

The draw closes on 30 April 2018. The winners will be notified by 14 May 2018,

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The Master of Knots by Massimo Carlotto

Alligator - former blues singer and ex-convict, now a private detective - finds himself pulled into a dark and unsettling case that uncovers an Italy known to very few.

When Helena Giraldi is abducted, her husband approaches Alligator and his friends for help. Helena and Mariano lead a secret double life involving Italy's clandestine S&M scene. But Mariano seems more worried about losing his job and reputation than about seeing his wife again. Rossini, the old-style gangster who watches Alligator's back, doesn't want to get involved: he has his own reputation to consider. Only Max is determined to find the woman and bring her to safety.

As Alligator and Max begin to investigate, they uncover a secretive and dangerous world in which brutality, duplicity and passion go hand in hand. Behind Helena's abduction is a shadowy figure known as The Master of Knots - who proves to be as powerful as he is psychotic. As more members of the underground scene start to disappear, Alligator and Max find themselves in a desperate race against time to reveal the true identity of The Master of Knots. Their search will lead them into a world where truth is an elusive concept, where no one is who they seem to be - and where the line between pleasure and pain simply doesn't exist.


'He has been dubbed Italy's greatest crime writer ... Carlotto's books are as interesting as the man himself. His latest story of prostitution, drugs dealers and corruption gives us an indication of why he is so highly regarded.'


'All in all a jolly romp, expertly translated from the Italian by Christopher Woodall, who manages to preserve the ambiance of seediness that this tale surely possessed in the orginal.'


About the Author

Massimo Carlotto

Massimo Carlotto was at the centre of one of the most controversial law cases in Italian history. In January 1976, Carlotto, at that time a member of a left-wing movement, stumbled across a brutally stabbed body in his hometown. The police accused him of the murder, and just before the appeal, his lawyer advised him to run. Betrayed finally in Mexico, Carlotto was captured and tortured, and sent back to Italy. Following trials, mistakes, and changes in the law, he was sent to prison, before being pardoned in 1993. His first book was an autobiography, but he then started writing a series in which the main character, Alligator, is a former convict who becomes a detective, and, like Carlotto, has a thirst for truth and justice.

Author photo © Daniela Zedda

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Book Info

Publication date

31st December 2004


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Thriller / Suspense
Crime / Mystery
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