Sarti Antonio, a cop as honest as he is tenacious, is an anti-hero blessed with an extraordinary memory, addicted to coffee, and subject to colitis. He lives in Bologna, where most of the investigations that fall to him take place. In these stories, snatches of the sergeant’s past not only come to light; they illuminate our own present-day reality, which would appear to prove that the protagonist’s world is a faithful copy of the one inhabited by every one of us.
Loriano Macchiavelli (Vergato, Bologna, 1934) has written numerous plays for the Italian stage. Since 1974, he has focused his efforts on the crime novel and has published several of them, his best-known character being the police sergeant Sarti Antonio. Moreover, under the pen name Jules Quicher, he wrote Funerale dopo Ustica (1989) and Strage (1990), the latter creating a host of legal problems for the author. His novel Macaronì (1997) marks the start of a ongoing literary collaboration with Francesco Guccini, with whom he has written all the novels featuring the characters Benedetto Santovito (the Marshall) and Marco Gherardini, aka Poiana. And thanks to the novel Tango e gli altri. Romanzo di una raffica, anzi tre, co-written with the singer-songwriter from Emilia, the author duo won the Scerbanenco Award in 2007. Macchiavelli teamed up with Marcello Fois and Carlo Lucarelli to found Gruppo 13, while he joined forces with Renzo Cremante to found and direct Delitti di Carta, a magazine devoted solely to the Italian crime genre. His novels have inspired films, TV movies and series, radio dramas and audiobooks. There is no doubt that Macchiavelli is one of the authors, or even the sole author, to have contributed the most to the rebirth of the Italian noir novel.
Noir in Festival is back in Milan on December 10-15, 2021, with a packed program free for the viewing. The festival has tapped a versatile subversive talent, Marco Galli, to design the poster for its 31st edition, which has two new venues in Milan this year: the Multisala Gloria, in the Notorious Cinemas circuit, and the Teatro Filodrammatici.
Nando Iaccarino had the magic touch when it came to cars: he could fix any engine. He had all those connoisseurs of automobiles and antique cars lining up outside his garage, which was as neat and clean as a hospital room; vehicles that anyone else would have thrown out, he could fix, every time. Knew how to take care of things, Iaccarino did. Now that he’s been killed, it’s up to the Bastards of Pizzofalcone to figure out who did it, even if each of them is going through a hard time, struggling with his own fears, sorrows, and secrets. Even though the bigwigs at the police headquarters, who can’t bear the thought of them, still hope to see them go down for the count. Happens even to the angels.
In 2007 Maurizio de Giovanni burst on the Italian literary scene, after winning a prize for his novel set in Naples in the 1930s, featuring Inspector Luigi Alfredo Ricciardi. The novel was Il senso del dolore, published by Fandango and reprinted by Einaudi in 2012 (like the entire series). So began, in fact, a wildly popular series now on its twelfth installment, with Il pianto dell’alba. Also in 2012, De Giovanni wrote Il metodo del Coccodrillo, which earned him the Scerbanenco Award. It marked the first appearance of Inspector Lojacono, who would go on to be co-protagonist of another acclaimed series set in present-day Naples: The Bastards of Pizzofalcone. Angeli is the tenth in this series, which is now a Raiuno TV series directed by Carlo Carlei and Alessandro D’Alatri and starringAlessandro Gassmann and Carolina Crescentini. Yet another series of crime novels, Sara al tramonto, Le parole di Sara, Una lettera per Sara and Gli occhi di Sara, all published by Garzanti, treated his fans to a new character, a former secret services agent, now retired, with the gift of invisibility and a talent: stealing people’s secrets. De Giovanni also devoted a series to Mina Settembre, the first three books of which were published by Sellerio, and the fourth and fifth by Einaudi: Troppo freddo per Settembre and Una sirena a Settembre.
Paris, the spring of 1871. Under siege, with the Prussians at the gates, the city has barely pulled through a freezing winter, and its inhabitants have suffered the cold, hunger, and cannon fire. The French government buckles, the price of peace is humiliation, but the Parisians reject the truce and hand the city government over to the Commune, an anarchist-socialist council run by the people themselves. The French Armed Forces promptly regroup to wrest the city of Paris from the Communards. The civil war that ensues ends with what has gone down in history as the “Bloody Week”, May 21st to 28th: despite the barricades and the fierce resistance of the Parisians, the French army fires its way into the city with its cannons and twenty times as many men and, in a matter of days, slaughters over 20,000 people associated with the Commune to different degrees. The plot of the novel unfolds against the backdrop of this tragic “bloody week”, as individual strands are interwoven: the possibly doomed love story between Caroline and Nicolas, the investigation by Antoine Roques, a former bookbinder elected to the Sûreté by the people’s assembly; the intrigues of the perverse criminal Pujols, kidnapper of young girls; and the mysterious figure of the coachman Clovis, whose facial hair conceals his features. All of this as destruction rains down from the sky, leaving Paris in ruins, along with the Utopian dream of a society of equals.
Hervé Le Corre (Bordeaux, 1955) published his first novel in 1990: La douleur des morts, the first part of a trilogy set in his native city, which was rounded out by Du sable dans la bouche (1993) and Les effarés (1996). With the trilogy behind him, Le Corre kicked off a new phase in his literary output with his novel Copyright, followed by L’Homme aux lèvres de saphir (2004), the latter selling over 50,000 copies in France and winning the prestigious Grand Prix du roman noir français du festival de Cognac and the Prix Mystère de la critique. He followed these up with Tango parano (2006) and Trois de chute (2007). Le Corre’s 2009 novel Les cœurs déchiquetés [Talking to Ghosts] earned the author the Grand prix de littérature policière. After his next novel, Derniers retranchements (2011), many more accolades were in store for Après la guerre (2014) [After the War]: the Prix du polar européen, Prix Landerneau, and the Prix Michel Lebrun. His latest novel, Traverser la nuit, came out in France this year, the story of a woman massacred by her former partner, an overworked police officer investigating the deaths of a series of women, and a killer under the sway of his impulses and his own violent mother.