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Death's Dark Abyss [Paperback]

By Massimo Carlotto & Lawrence Venuti (Translator)
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Item description for Death's Dark Abyss by Massimo Carlotto & Lawrence Venuti...

During a bungled robbery attempt, Raffaello Beggiato takes a young woman and her eight-year-old child hostage. He later murders both in cold blood. Beggiato is arrested, tried, and sentenced to life. Undone by his loss, the victims' father and husband, Silvano Contin, plunges into an ever-deepening abyss until the day, fifteen years later, when the murderer seeks his pardon. The wounded Silvano turns predator as he ruthlessly plots his revenge.
A story of guilt, revenge, and justice, Massimo Carlotto's Death's Dark Abyss tells the tale of two men and the savage crime that irreversibly binds them. Two dramatic stories meet in this stylish, passionate indictment of a legal system that seems powerless both to compensate victims and to rehabilitate perpetrators.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   152
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5.25" Height: 8"
Weight:   0.45 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2006
Publisher   Europa Editions
ISBN  1933372184  
ISBN13  9781933372181  

Availability  0 units.

More About Massimo Carlotto & Lawrence Venuti

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Massimo Carlotto's first book, an autobiographical novel entitled The Fugitive, deals with his time on the run in Latin America. Carlotto is one of the most important exponents of the Mediterranean Noir novel and has been called an Italian James Ellroy.

Massimo Carlotto was born in 1956.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > General
2Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery > General
3Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Police Procedurals

Reviews - What do customers think about Death's Dark Abyss?

Noir, Italian Style  Jan 12, 2008
What the noir genre does best is present a very average protagonist, usually a kind of down-on-his-luck kind of guy -- someone the reader can easily identify with, and then place him in some kind of moral quandary. Through the story, the reader is forced to consider what their own reactions would be to the situation and thus, their own morality. This slim Italian story is a prime example of this.

In it, we meet a totally unremarkable cobbler named Silvano Contin. Fifteen years ago, he was living a nice middle-class life as a wine salesman with a pretty wife and little boy. However, fate brought them in the path of a pair of escaping bank robbers, one of whom ended up killing the wife and son. This plunged Contin into depression and a general dissociation from the world. Meanwhile, one of the robbers was caught and put in prison for life, while the other was never found. Now, fifteen years later, Raffaello Beggiato is dying of cancer and appealing for clemency, while at the same time, hoping that if he is released, he can use his share of the loot to flee to Brazil and live large for his final days.

As part of the legal process, Contin is asked whether or not he wishes to forgive Beggiato (who swears it was his partner who killed the wife and kid). Contin doesn't forgive him one bit, but calculates that if Beggiato is freed, he might lead Contin to his accomplice, enabling some kind of revenge. Of course, simmering along with Contin's hate for the men who destroyed his life is the question of what we, the reader, would do in the same circumstances. When the Italian judicial system bumbles along and does eventually release Beggiato, it triggers a series of twists and turns worthy of any classic noir film, culminating in a satisfying epilogue. It's a quick and simple read that raises questions within the reader that are not so quickly or simply answered.
"Pity was a feeling that belonged to another life, before death had put mine under wraps."  Nov 12, 2006
If you like neo-noir fiction that is lean, mean and relentlessly dark, then Massimo Carlotto's stunning novel, "Death's Dark Abyss" is for you. Through his characters and their actions, the author eviscerates traditional notions of good and evil--those are standards that simply have no meaning in this tale of dark revenge, relentless hate, and the impossibilities of justice set in modern Italy.

Fifteen years ago, a horrible senseless crime took the lives of Carla Contin and her 8-year-old son, Enrico when they were taken hostage during a botched jewelry robbery. One of the two crooks, Raffaello Beggiato, cold-bloodedly murdered Carla and Enrico, and his unknown accomplice managed to elude the police with the stolen loot.

While Beggiato claims that he was not the shooter, he refuses to reveal the name of his accomplice. Beggiato received a 30-year sentence, and he's served exactly half of it. Against the mundane routine of the prison, he daydreams of his release--knowing that his partner is on the outside keeping his half-share from the robbery safe for him. "The haul was the kind that sets you up for life" so when Beggiato is diagnosed with cancer, he uses his disease as a reason to seek a pardon. Ironically, from his prison cell, Beggiato at first sees his diagnosis of cancer as a ticket to freedom. Once he's pardoned he intends to escape to Brazil with his half of the money and whoop it up for whatever time he has left....

But Beggiato has forgotten to factor Silvano Contin into his plans. Contin has suffered a great deal since the murders of his wife and only child. Unable to continue with his career, he's sunk into a life of obscurity with minimal human contact. The murder of Carla and Enrico has created some disturbing parallels between the killer and Contin. One man rots in prison, while Contin rots on the outside--haunted by the crime that effectively stole his life too. His hate for Beggiato and his unnamed partner hasn't receded in fifteen years--it's just simmering, slowly--waiting for an opportunity to explode in an ecstasy of revenge, and ironically it's the ineffectual, disinterested, and monolithic justice system that hands an opportunity to Contin.

Brilliantly constructed, with stark, powerful and shocking amorality, author Carlotto explores the dark game that begins with news of Beggiato's possible release. Don't look for traditional characters here--Carlotto's complex characters are boldly and unapologetically real, terrifying and unforgettable. While the author's vision of human nature is completely merciless, redemption still arrives in the most unexpected and disturbing fashion. If you enjoy this book, I also recommend "The Goodbye Kiss" by the same author--displacedhuman

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