Jim Wolf is abandoned in a Naples back street by a taxi driver. This is not what he came to the city for. But he's soon found by Louisa - an ex-lover never quite forgotten - now married to a charismatic Neapolitan judge. The three become close friends, and it's not long before Jim is closely involved in a high profile-mafia trial and once again irresistibly tempted by Louisa. Jim is soon out of his depth, seduced by both the beauty and danger of this mysterious city, where betrayal - of a lover, of a friend, of oneself - is part of the way of life, and where, if you break the unspoken codes, a single gesture from a powerful man can condemn you.
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Neil Griffiths' first novel, Betrayal in Naples has the unsettling disjointed feel of the fever that hits Jim as he arrives in Naples for a weekend break--he is out of his normal place and nothing feels quite real. What follows is a sequence of accidents so arbitrary that they feel like fate.
A taxi driver delivers him to a pensione from which, when his fever breaks, he wanders into the street and meets the lost love of his life. Louisa turns out to be married to a judge who is trying a Camorra family; Jim wanders into his court and meets Giovanna, an unhappy daughter of criminals dissatisfied with her career prospects. Then again, everything that happens to Jim happens because of who he is--a burned-out romantic over-burdened with the desire to help people, to make a difference--and because of where he is--a city old in crime and cynicism and jealousy.
Griffiths writes powerfully about the fact that everything has consequences--his Naples is a mental territory as much as a set of streets, dazzling sunlight and ferociously hot pizza. He also writes well about character--the doomed Jim is a fascinating flawed hero whom we come to know well as his clock ticks down. --Roz KaveneyReview:
'An atmospheric and claustrophobic tale...part thriller, part literary musing and part love story.' -- List
'An edgy romance and an excellent study in paranoia' -- Daily Telegraph
'Edge-of-seat stuff...as thrilling as it is erotic' -- Star
'Sharply written, finely paced. A gripping, visceral and pandemonious novel.' -- The Spectator
'Shocking and compelling' -- Big Issue
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 2005. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110141016507