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Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Wednesday, December 21, 2016


A kidnapped child and the burglary of a high-class apartment: two crimes that seem to have no connection at all until Inspector Lojacono, known as "The Chinaman," starts to investigate.
         De Giovanni is one of the most dexterous and successful writers of crime fiction currently working in Europe. His award-winning and bestselling novels, all set in Naples, offer a brilliant vision of the criminal underworld and the police that battle it in Europa's most fabled, atmospheric, dangerous, and lustful city.
         The Bastards of Pizzofalcone is a new series set in contemporary Naples that draws inspiration from Ed McBain's 87th Precinct novels and features a large cast of complicated cops doing battle with ruthless criminals.

Darkness (Police Procedural)
By Maurizio De Giovanni
Europa Editions
ISBN #978-1609453374
Price $11.58
236 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

Darkness is a taut thriller of a kidnapped child hidden in a dark room while police try to find him and the ones responsible. We meet all the characters, and have our suspicions, but as usual, the author surprises us with the outcome. There appear to be two cases the team is working on, the kidnapping and a burglary. The lead detective, Inspector Lojacono is assigned to the burglary with Alex DiNardo, while Romano and Aragona investigate the kidnapping. Strangely, the two cases will connect in a surprising climax.

The author writes a compelling mystery. His characters are flawed, far from the heroes we would expect, yet they work together like well-oiled machinery; their work comes first, and a need to find the little boy is uppermost in each one’s mind.

I never tire of reading one of Giovanni’s mysteries, as his writing captivates the reader, and I was pulled into the story from the first page. This one is no different. I was a little disappointed in the ending, however. Yes, we discover who the kidnappers are, and who orchestrated the deed, but the author leaves the ending up to the reader. Does it have a happy ending, or like the deed itself, perhaps the ending is disturbing? Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson


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