***Winner of The Reader's Award, Quais du Polar-20 Minutes***
***Short-listed for the Prix du Polar Européen***
***Rights sold in Italy and Greece***
The reader is carried away by the force of the narration and the numerous twists and turns in this novel to be devoured in one gulp.
—Le Canard Enchaîné
Saturn is a sure success.
Many of the bold-faced names of Rome are gathered at Saturnia, an exclusive thermal spa. Hoping to find peace and relaxation on a sunny afternoon is an upscale family, an adulterous couple followed by a private detective, and a lesbian couple. A man suddenly opens fire, killing three people and wounding several others before making his escape.
Simona Tavianello, a famous anti-Mafia prosecutor, takes charge of the investigation. She is not, however, the only one interested in solving the murders. The victims' relatives gather around the private detective Cédric Rottheimer and create a victims' support group they call "Truth and Justice for Saturnia." Also interested in finding some basic truths is the killer who, to escape being blackmailed, needs to discover who really hired him.
The three murders are soon followed by others. Simona finds that, as usual in Italy, nothing is straightforward. The search for the underlying motive for the murders becomes chaotic: Complex interests are at play, and each individual turns out to be a pawn in a larger game of chess. There's a very large sum of money involved—money that has been acquired in a most dubious manner—and the Mafia, screen companies, and even the government all want a share.
With humor and pragmatism, Quadruppani realistically portrays the state of the Italian justice system today, a system caught between the interests of a corrupt government, unscrupulous financial institutions, and, of course, the Mafia.