Almost Blue – Carlo Lucarelli – 5/10 (DNF)

“This voice is different, less liquid, hazier, smoky, like thick fog.”

From the blurb: A serial killer is terrorising the people of Bologna and rookie Detective Inspector Grazia Negro is determined to solve the case. She only has one witness who can identify the killer – and he is blind. Simone spends his days listening to Chet Baker and scanning the radio waves of the city, eavesdropping on other people’s lives. He imagines what people are like – based on the ‘colour’ of their voices – and his acute hearing sets alarm bells ringing when he tunes in to the killer. Together Simone and Negro are the only people able to stop him.

I seem to be having a bout of the DNFs at the moment. Maybe I am just getting more ruthless with my reading. If I’m not loving it, out it goes.

This one’s a funny one, and I can see why it was CWA Gold Dagger shortlisted. Grazia is a great lead investigator (although why why why the author chose to make her pre-menstrual is beyond me, did he want to ramp up the blood quotient even further?) – prickly, independent, tired of being treated as cute and useless because she’s a woman in a man’s world…

I liked the idea of a blind witness too, and an unhelpful one at that – Simone (and this frustrated me too – why not switch to Simon? Simone is a woman’s name in English – I know that Simone is the Italian men’s name but in translation it’s confusing) is difficult with his mother, and with Grazia when she visits, and generally seems to be a bit away with the fairies.

What made me put this book down was the incredibly short chapters, switching back and forth from Grazia to the killer to Simone. I thought the killer’s voice could have been left out for a much smoother novel. Anyway it was too jumpy and I got fed up.

Reviews by other bloggers: Gaskella, A Work in Progress, Petrona

Additional info:
This was a personal copy from a big-box purchase.
Publisher: Vintage, 169 pages (paperback)
Order Almost Blue from Amazon*
* this is an affiliate link – I will be paid a small percentage of your purchase price if you use this link, which goes towards giveaways.

5 thoughts on “Almost Blue – Carlo Lucarelli – 5/10 (DNF)”

  1. Sounds like fun but I also don’t like a lot of short chapters. A pity you couldn’t finish it – it isn’t even all that big a book.

    Hope your next book is more to your liking!

  2. I enjoyed this one mostly – I agree the pre-menstrual business was a tad irritating, and I didn’t like the killer’s PoV either. Personally I don’t mind short chapters so that aspect was fine with me.

  3. I’m rather impressed that you didn’t finish this one, as it is only about 100 pages long! I sometimes hurl books across the room because they are so tedious and predictable on p 200, when you realise suddenly you have 350 more pages to go…..of obviousness….scream!
    I can see that the claustrophobia of the “mental fog” in this book isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and I could certainly have done without the menstrual aspects. Nevertheless, crime fiction rarely if ever does mention such things, so I suppose one has to give the author half a point for that at least, even if he did do it rather crassly.

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