River of Shadows
(a.k.a. Il fiume delle nebbie)
by Valerio Varesi
Commissario Soneri #1
Set in the Po Rivery Valley (Lombardia, Italia)
© 2003 published by MacLehose Press
Introducing Commissario Soneri and shortlisted for the C.W.A. International Dagger, River of Shadows is a brooding, visceral crime novel packed with atmosphere and tension.
A relentless deluge lashes the Po Valley, and the river itself swells beyond its limits. A barge breaks free of its moorings and drifts erratically downstream; when finally it runs aground its seasoned pilot is nowhere to be found.
The following day, an elderly man of the same surname falls from the window of a nearby hospital. Commissario Soneri, scornful of his superiors’ scepticism, is convinced the two incidents are linked. Stonewalled by the bargemen who make their living along the riverbank, he scours the floodplain for clues. As the waters begin to ebb, the river yields up its secrets: tales of past brutality, bitter rivalry and revenge.