Karen spent 30+ years as a Civil Servant, mostly in Revenue which is where she developed my absolute hatred of poor writing skills! Her favourite genre is now crime/thriller/police procedural/legal genre with the occasional foray into chick-lit and general fiction.
Deputy Chief of Police, Rocco Schiavone is rude, abrasive and a cynic. On the face of it he should be particularly easy to dislike, but I found the opposite to be true.
Rocco has been transferred to small-town Aosta from his beloved Rome. He hates this cold snowy town, but it's preferable to time behind bars. Rocco literally took the law into his own hands back in Rome and left one Giorgio Borghetti Ansaldo for dead after a severe beating. Giorgio's crime? He enjoys raping little girls. Giorgio's father, Fernando is undersecretary for foreign affairs and Rocco despised the fact that the father's prominent position meant that Giorgio continually got away with his vile crimes. Rocco should have been given a jail term, but it was decided that his punishment would be a transfer to small town policing, and at the same time keep Giorgio's crimes under the radar.
Rocco's most recent case is that of Esther Baudo, found hanging in her elegant apartment by her cleaning lady. It appears at first glance to be suicide, but on further investigation Rocco's not convinced. He also has unfinished business in Rome when he discovers that Giorgio has been up to his old tricks again.
Outside of work, Rocco Schiavone has personal issues - he still hasn't managed to overcome his grief and guilt at losing his wife Marina. He has a sometime girlfriend Nora, but she's not easy to please and doesn't live up to Marina, she's way too demanding for Rocco.
I really enjoyed this book; I actually liked the grumpy pessimistic Rocco. The author has a natural talent for making the minutiae of life appear fascinating, and the storyline was very good, in particular Rocco's great powers of deduction. Most enjoyable.