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The Past is a Foreign Country
(Translated from the Italian by Howard Curtis)
Book Description: An intense and superior psychological thriller in which Carofiglio takes his readers deep into Patricia Highsmith's Ripley territory. Winner of the coveted Premio Bancarella.
1989, Bari, southern Italy. Giorgio is a 22 year old model student, living a conventional middle-class life. Dangerous, fascinating and slightly older Francesco is also a student, but far from a model one. Giorgio is only vaguely aware of Francesco until one evening their paths cross and Giorgio is sucked into Francesco's world.
Giorgio becomes Francesco's pupil and learns to cheat at cards. In return, he will get lots of money, sexual adventures, luxury. Their gambling exploits take them from luxurious villas to low dives, their victims ranging from rich industrialists to human flotsam. Giorgio enters a world where his own image of himself starts to fragment, revealing someone he no longer recognizes: someone who both scares and attracts him.
Meanwhile, Lieutenant Chiti of the carabinieri is investigating a series of brutal rapes in Bari. A shocking dénouement draws together the two strands of the story in a wholly unexpected way and brings a catharsis for both Giorgio and Lieutenant Chiti.
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