The Dark Valley
(a.k.a. Le ombre di Montelupo)
by Valerio Varesi
Commissario Soneri #2
Set in the Po Rivery Valley (Lombardia, Italia)
© 2005 published by MacLehose Press
Commissario Soneri returns to his roots for a hard-earned autumn holiday, hoping to spend a few days mushroom picking on the slopes of Montelupo. The isolated village relies on the salame factory founded in the post-war years by Palmiro Rodolfi, and now run by his son, Paride. On arrival, Soneri is greeted by anxious rumours about the factory’s solvency and the younger Rodolfi’s whereabouts. As news spreads of the Rodolfis’ financial ruin – a scandal with devastating consequences for all – Palmiro takes desperate measures to avert the shame of his predicament. Not long afterwards, a decomposing body is found in the woods.
In the second of the Commissario Soneri investigations – the first, River of Shadows was shortlisted for the C.W.A. International Dagger – Varesi has once again conjured a complex novel of brooding intensity from the secrets buried at the dark heart of Italy’s troubled past.