James Sturz Sasso

ISBN 13: 9780099415350

Sasso

2.96 avg rating
( 23 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780099415350: Sasso

A small Italian town. Two dead teenagers. And a fatal secret.

In Mancanzano, buried deep in the Italian south, two naked teenagers are found dead. Hidden away in one of the labyrinthine caves that surround the town, their lithe young bodies are perfect except for the mysterious lacerations which ravage their faces. As police puzzle over the deaths, four experts arrive to investigate the breathtaking frescoes discovered with the corpses.

But when another adolescent couple is found, and then another, the team soon find they are forbidden to leave. Weeks, then months pass, and as the intense heat of the Italian summer descends, it seems the irresistible atmosphere of the deadly town has them all in its thrall ...

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Product Description:

In Mancanzano, two naked teenagers are found dead. Their lithe young bodies are perfect except for the mysterious lacerations which ravage their faces. Four experts arrive to investigate the breathtaking frescoes discovered with the corpses. But then, another adolescent couple is found, and then another, and the team are forbidden to leave.

Review:

Dry heat has its own exhaustion, its own madness; the visiting academics in James Sturz's Sasso were always going to be outsiders in the closed-in South Italian society of Mancanzano, but the logic of events and the climate leads them to terrible conclusions. Mancanzano is a town whose inhabitants used to live in caves in the volcanic rock that surrounds it, and still use powdered rock to cool off or stave off hunger. A series of dead teenage couples are found intertwined in caves with frescoes painted onto the crumbling rock, with paint crammed into their dead mouths; the frescoes themselves, as they are progressively revealed, become more and more sinister. The unnamed narrator and his colleagues drift into ever more dangerous emotional entanglements with each other and the townsfolk around them, and the authorities flail around looking for explanations in more and more lunatic intellectual byways, and for scapegoats... This deeply atmospheric thriller takes place in the glare of the brightest sunlight, yet its heart is as gloomy as the darkest kind of noir fiction. There is a passionate doominess to every step along the way here as well as a constant wild comedy-- Sasso is an impressive and original thriller. -- Roz Kaveney

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JAMES STURZ
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