Fiction / Mystery

A Novel
Laura Grimaldi
Translated by Robin Pickering-Iazzi

Terrace Books, a trade imprint of the University of Wisconsin Press

A literary thriller from Italy's queen of crime

In the shadow of the "Monster of Florence," a serial murderer who has terrorized Italy for seventeen years, Laura Grimaldi sets her tense psychological thriller Suspicion—a noir mystery of a city transformed by fear, and of friendships and family ties twisted by uncertainty and dark speculation. Grimaldi, whose hardboiled mysteries of the 1950s earned her the title "Italy's queen of crime," turns here to the deeper, more elusive and disturbing questions that haunt human affairs.

For years Matilde, the widow of a prominent Florentine doctor, has lived alone with her eccentric middle-aged son, Enea. When the police pay a call, the balance between mother and son is shifted just subtly enough to make Matilde prey to suspicions and doubts that grow ever more corrosive, ever harder to conceal and more dangerous to reveal. In the literary tradition of such mystery writers as Patricia Highsmith and Ruth Rendell, Grimaldi creates an atmosphere charged with suspense as the daily lives and routines of her characters, infected with suspicion, begin to rearrange themselves around a few frightening facts and infinite monstrous possibilities.

Matilde's efforts to decipher Enea's secretive movements and occupations appear perfectly sensible and defensible through Grimaldi's deft shifts between mother and son—and another, chillingly detached perspective on the gruesome murders. Grimaldi's readers will find themselves as subject to misinterpretation and doubt, to sympathies and suspicions as her Florentine characters, and spellbound until the book's final page.

"A tortured walk through the winding streets and twisted minds of modern Florence and Florentines. . . . leaves its readers . . . enlightened about crime fiction in a different culture by gluing its reader to the edge of the confessional couch."—Ray Browne, former book review editor, Clues

Laura Grimaldi is managing editor for the Italian publisher, Il Saggiatore. She is internationally regarded for her work as a writer, critic, and translator. The author of ten novels, including Monsieur Bovary, Il Sospetto (Suspicion), La Colpa (Guilt), and La Paura (Fear), her books have been translated into nine languages. She has also translated into Italian the work of Ernest Hemingway, E.L. Doctorow, Scott Turow, and Zadie Smith. Robin Pickering-Iazzi, professor of Italian and Comparative Literature at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, is the author, editor, and translator of many books.

A press kit is available for Suspicion.


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cover of Grimaldi is a moody green with a woman's face hauntingly gazing from the upper left

September 2003
LC: 2003005651 PQ
256 pp. 5 x 8 1/2
ISBN 978-0-299-18860-3 Cloth $19.95 t

Wisconsin edition for sale only in the United States and U.S. dependencies, and in Canada.

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