Valerio Varesi, the Turin-born crime writer, displays a typically Italian interest (I would say) in conspiracy theory. The Italian term dietrologia, which translates, not very happily, as ‘behindology’, presumes that shadowy consortia are everywhere manipulating political scandals. A Woman Much Missed, the fourth of the excellent Commissario Soneri thrillers to be translated into English, unfolds in present-day Parma amid rumours of Mafioso-style machinations.
As always, Varesi’s lugubrious, cigar-puffing detective Soneri retains a degree of disabused integrity and is a trencherman, moreover, as he seeks out only the best buffalo-milk mozzarella and bottles of Bonarda red. Under it all, though, lies a deepening corruption, where justice may not prevail.