University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date: October 2003
Digital Book format: PDF (Adobe DRM)
You save: $2.00 (20%)
Laura Grimaldi, known in Italy as "the queen of crime," presents another suspenseful tale of crime in this English translation of her thrilling Italian novel, Il sospetto. Taking as her point of departure the series of brutal murders committed by the "Monster of Florence," Grimaldi focuses on the transformation of the city as the popular imagination is captured and terrorized; suspicion infects the daily lives of the Florentine citizens, coloring their perceptions of family members, friends, and acquaintances. This climate of palpable fear and distrust, heightened by the media, significantly informs the psychological drama that unfolds between Matilde Monterispoli, a widowed member of a prominent Florentine family, and Enea, her middle-aged son. Grimaldi first enlists our sympathies for Matilde, as she falls prey to a mere inkling of suspicion when one day the police arrive on her doorstep looking for Enea and, by coincidence, she notices that her late husband's case of surgical scalpels has been disturbed. We are then drawn into the mother's ensuing struggle to fight against her growing suspicions that Enea may be the "monster," and to decipher his apparently secretive movements, behavior, and occupations. Although the powers of reason Matilde employs to piece together the mysteries surrounding the enigma of Enea's life and the murders appear solid, her misinterpretations become painfully evident through Grimaldi's deft shifts between three central points of view--Matilde's, Enea's, and a detached, almost clinical perspective adopted to narrate the murder scenes. Grimaldi toys with the reader, eliciting suspicions and sympathies, planting doubts about the guilt or innocence of each character, and keeping the suspense at a high pitch until the final pages.