Friday, March 13, 2015
Review of The Few by Nadia Dalbuono (Scribe, 2014)
Set in the city of Rome and the island of Elba, Nadia Dalbuono’s debut novel mixes police procedural with political thriller. The central character is Leone Scamarcio, a loner who is an outsider within the police force given his family’s mafia connections, who also has a mild anger management problem being unafraid to let his boss know exactly what he thinks of a poor decision or action. The plot involves Scamarcio covertly investigating a sexual scandal involving a senior politician that has become a murder case. The start of the story felt a little clunky, both in terms of its plotting and telling, but becomes more assured as it progresses, especially when the tale moves to Elba. Here, there is more of a sense of place and better framing and contextualisation. However, on return to Rome it becomes a little fanciful again and the twist in the resolution felt weak and unlikely. Nevertheless, Scamarcio is an appealing character and the story rattles along, hooking the reader in, and there is plenty of intrigue and tension. Overall, an entertaining read that shows promise as the start of a new series.