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River of Shadows : A Commissario Soneri Mystery by Valerio Varesi

River of Shadows : A Commissario Soneri Mystery

Crime / Mystery   Thriller / Suspense   
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Shortlisted for the CWA International Dagger 2011.

A tense noir set in the dark and foggy hinterland of the River Po, a tough area of Italy as yet undiscovered by an English audience.

CWA Judges’ comments: ‘Unlike most police procedurals, the detective, Soneri, plays second fiddle to an evocation of the hard lives lived on and near the Po, from the history of dangers survived during the bitter internal battles of the Second World War, to contemporary criminal people-smuggling, with the river’s own threat of flood and destruction.’

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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.

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Enter prize draw Draw closes: 30/04/2018


River of Shadows : A Commissario Soneri Mystery by Valerio Varesi

In a bleak valley in Northern Italy, the River Po is swollen to its limits. The thick fog that usually clings to the town, blurring its surroundings and plunging its inhabitants into near-blindness, has been driven out by the raging storm. So when an empty barge drifts downriver, the fact the owner is missing does not go unnoticed. That same night Commissario Soneri is called in to investigate the murder of the boatman's brother. The brothers served together in the fascist militia fifty years earlier - could this be a revenge killing after so long? Soneri's investigation meets with a wall of silence from those who make their living along the banks of river. As the fog descends and the valley is hidden once more, Soneri must navigate fifty-year-old loyalties and deep-rooted rivalries before he can find out the truth.


'The real coups of River of Shadows are twofold: the author's trenchant analysis of his country's ignoble past, married to the narrative acumen of a master storyteller'
Barry Forshaw, Independent

'Opens with a gripping, Dickensian description of relentless rainfall... a good line in wry humour'
Laura Wilson, Guardian

'This may not be a carefree country, but the sinister secrets it nurses are fodder for good fiction'
Rosemary Goring, Scottish Sunday Herald

'An astute analysis of Italy's modern challenges and conflicts'
Thea Lenarduzzi, Times Literary Supplement

'The plot nearly explores the ramifications of Italy's internal Fascist-Communist struggle during the Second World War, and Joseph Farrell's translation is appropriately poetic'
Declan Burke, Irish Times

'A dark, interesting mystery'
Literary Review

About the Author

Valerio Varesi

Valerio Varesi has been the Parma correspondent for La Stampa and La Repubblica. River of Shadows is the first of a series of thrillers featuring Commissario Soneri, now the central figure of one of Italy's most popular television dramas. Joseph Farrell has translated several major Italian authors, including Dario Fo.

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd September 2010


Valerio Varesi

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MacLehose Press an imprint of Quercus Publishing Plc




Crime / Mystery
Thriller / Suspense



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