They’re back. Not seen in these parts since The Fallen Angel in 2011, Nic Costa, Teresa Lupo, Gianni Peroni and Leo Falcone return today in a new book, The Savage Shore. It first appears in hardback in the UK from Severn House and in audio, narrated as ever by Saul Reichlin from Whole Story Audio. The US edition and the international ebook will be out in November from Severn, and a paperback next May. In the Netherlands the Dutch edition appears in September from Boekerij.
It was great to be working with the old crew again. But not in Rome this time. They’ve all been dispatched to Calabria in the south of Italy where the shadowy boss of the local ’Ndrangheta gang has offered to give himself up to turn state witness against his own crime organisation. The challenge for Costa and co is simple: how do they get him out alive without giving away their presence as covert police officers in a territory very much controlled by the local mob?
It is, I hope, a mystery as much as a crime story. There are no car chases and very little in the way of violence. I wanted to write a book that had a slightly old-fashioned feel, one that relished in the exotic locations of a part of Italy most people don’t know, played with the idea of identity and was very much driven by suspense and character rather than ‘action’. Costa and his colleagues are forced to pretend to be something they’re not, and that’s not a role they’re comfortable with.
It also moves around rather more than the earlier books, something else that makes the crew more than a little uncomfortable. It roams around the great mountain of Aspromonte in Calabria and real-life locations like Tropea above, but also Siracusa in Sicily and, briefly, Capri before a finale in the north. So a different kind of story to the usual. I hope fans new and old find it a rich and surprising read, and one that introduces a fascinating part of the world to a larger audience.
Many thanks to the team at Severn and Boekerij for their support in bringing the old team back. And look out for some surprises next year with the paperback. In fact I have a couple of big surprises in store for you all next year. But more of that in due time…