by Tullio Avoledo
Sergio Stokar was a good cop, maybe the best in Pista Prima, a run-down but still prosperous city in Italy’s Northeast. That was until the day he unwittingly stepped on the wrong people’s toes. Next thing he knew, he wound up half-dead on the doorstep of the last place he wanted to wind up: the Zattere, a group of abandoned buildings where a whole community of illegal immigrants lived by their own rules. That fragile, precarious shelter, with its incomprehensible mix of different languages, races, and cultures, would normally have been a nightmare for one with Sergio’s political views. Alas, it was a nightmare he was stuck in, and he had to adapt to new rules and coexist with a world he once would have rejected outright. To protect himself, he has turned into the “sheriff of the Zattere”, maintaining law and order, looking into petty crimes — until the day the Council in charge of the complex assigns him a special job. Some girls living at the Zattere have been horribly murdered, the killer is on the loose, and only a clever cop like Sergio can smoke him out, with that killer instinct of his own, his contacts, but above all, his stubbornness, which turns him into a steamroller.
Tullio Avoledo (Valvasone, 1957) lives and works in Pordenone. Besides Lo stato dell’unione, his novels include: L’elenco telefonico di Atlantide (Sironi 2003, Einaudi 2003), Mare di Bering (Sironi 2003, Einaudi 2004), Tre sono le cose misteriose (Einaudi 2005), Breve storia di lunghi tradimenti (Einaudi 2007), La ragazza di Vajont (Einaudi 2008; The Girl from Vajont, Troubadour 2013), L’ultimo giorno felice (Edizioni Ambiente 2008, Einaudi 2011), and L’anno dei dodici inverni (Einaudi 2009); as well as Le radici del cielo (Multiplayer.it 2011), La crociata dei bambini (Multiplayer.it 2014) – two novels set in the Metro 2033 universe invented by Dmitry Gluchovsky – and Furland® (chiarelettere 2018). With Davide Boosta Dileo, Avoledo co-wrote Un buon posto per morire (Einaudi 2011). Marsilio has published his novels Chiedi alla luce (2016) and Nero come la notte (2020).