The final bet of Antonio Manzini

There is an urban legend that defines the concept of «Japanese strike» as the decision by employees not to stop, but to work excessively to increase production and thus cause a drop in prices that generates discomfort in the company and the company. compel you to reflect on your policy. In Dust and Shadow, the sixth installment of the police adventures and misadventures of Deputy Chief Rocco Schiavone, the successful character created by Antonio Manzini (Rome, 1964), does something similar to question the decisions of his superiors, who expel him from his office and they relegate him to a place more like a cleaning room than an office. Against this measure, Schiavone puts his incompetent team, over which he usually exercises a staunch control to avoid disappointments and misunderstandings, to be used thoroughly in the investigation on duty, which makes the novel one of the funniest in the series .

Miscues and laughter
Against this backdrop, that of errands dotted with blunders and a sense of humor capable of provoking laughter, especially scathing when the scientific police make an appearance in the narrative, Manzini asks us, who for many readers and critics is outlined as
worthy successor to Camilleri
, a criminal case directed from Aosta and starring two corpses: the body of a transsexual without any identification; and that of a man who carries Schiavone’s phone number in his pocket.

Still with the memory of the brilliant 7-7-2007, the predecessor novel of Dust and Shadow, very much alive in the memory, perhaps it is difficult for us to assess the strengths of this new incident of the deputy chief and they are the weak ones (a police plot that falters in its last part, when it becomes excessively confused and a tone that, very punctually, borders on sentimentality), which prompts us to judge this recent title as “minor”. However, nothing could be further from reality, because Dust and Shadow represents for Manzini the definitive commitment to a type of police literature that transcends the anecdotal aspects of crime in order, through its characters, to focus conscientiously on the social portrait; reason that suggests an inevitable question, valid for Manzini and Schiavone, but also for the other authors who look at the world through their established fictional detectives: what will they tell us in the near future about these last days? .

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