The Deliverance of Evil is a masterful psychological thriller about an edgy policeman's personal evolution - or devolution - as seen through the lens of a devilish case that consumed him early in his career and continues to haunt him twenty-four years later.
In 1982, all of Italy was joyous, having just won the World Cup after a decades-long championship drought, while in Rome hard-drinking Commissario Michele Balistreri was a brash cop investigating the murder of beautiful young Elisa Sordi. Despite the Commissario's brash style, or perhaps because of his arrogance, the murderer is never found. As the years pass, the file goes cold and Balistreri grows wiser, if perhaps a little more damaged and a little less fearless, consumed by the guilt of having left Sordi's murder unsolved.
In 2006, Italy is once again on the brink of a World Cup victory and Balistreri is losing the battle against his personal demons when Sordi's mother suddenly commits suicide. Emerging from a haze of antidepressants and self-pity, Balistreri is spurred to action and picks up the case again, sure that Elisa's killer is still out there, simply awaiting his next opportunity to strike.
"[A] commanding debut thriller...Costantini spins a politically charged, Machiavellian tale of fiendish complexity." - Publishers Weekly
"A promising debut...[a] complex crime novel that moves from savage murder to the political and social realities of contemporary Italy." - Kirkus
"[Constantini] delivers compelling drama...the gripping strength of the novel lies in its passionate portrayal of a corrupt and criminal Italy, from seedy traffickers to the Vatican." - Marcel Berlins, The Times
"Crime stories offer a fine vehicle for state-of-the-nation investigations. Italy is more of a challenge than well-ordered Scandinavia, but Roberto Costantini rises to it with ease...sprawling, violent and beset by a tortured morality, this is a compelling vision of modern Italy." - Mail on Sunday
"Readers can immerse themselves in la dolce vita as Costantini's charismatic detective, Commissario Michele Balistreri, solves a complex mystery centered on the nature of evil." - Anna Creer, The Sidney Morning Herald
"[A] tale of personal and political corruption, expediency and revenge engages... Costantini has created a fascinating protagonist, first seen as a thirtysomething womaniser with fascist sympathies, and then as an older, sadder and wiser man, bent on making amends for past mistakes." - Laura Wilson, The Guardian
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