The Silence of the Wave by Gianrico Carafiglio

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The Silence of the Wave by Gianrico Carafiglio

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Category: Crime
Rating: 3/5
Reviewer: Lesley Mason
Reviewed by Lesley Mason
Summary: A haunted carabinieri on sick-leave from the force meets a woman outside his therapist's office, who might just change his life. A short meandering read that doesn't really live up to the billing.
Buy? No Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 235 Date: September 2013
Publisher: Bitter Lemon Press
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781908524232

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Roberto Marias's week revolves around his visits to his psychiatrist on Monday and Thursday afternoons. On Mondays he always passes the same woman in the street. Perhaps she's a patient too.

Maria is an undercover cabinieri. Technically. It emerges that he is in therapy in some way connected to his work. He needs drugs to sleep, has twice weekly sessions and, on doctor's advice, takes very long walks. It is the walks that seem to be the most useful. They stop him thinking about things too much.

The therapy sessions confuse him. The enigmatic doctor doesn't give anything away, so he's struggling to understand what is going on inside his own head. One day he relates an event from his early days in the police: the incident that got him noticed and into the criminal investigation unit. He talks of a dream he had about surfing. He used to surf with his father, when he was growing up in California, but he left America 30 years ago and hasn't been near a board since. These two revelations prise open his memories and he begins to tell his story.

It's a story of undercover work, mostly in narcotics, where the legal and the criminal have blurred boundaries. It is not possible to work that deep without becoming, if not actually corrupt, certainly corroded.

Giacomo is eleven years old, has a major crush on the prettiest girl in class and dreams about a park where he meets his absent father and a talking doc, inexplicably called Scot. He pops up to share his own view on the world at apparently random intervals.

Emma is the woman in the street. Marias vaguely recognises her from somewhere else. They get talking when he helps her push-start her car, and then he remembers she is (or used to be) an actress. He remembers a funny commercial from years ago.

Meeting Emma is the catalyst that sparks the beginnings of a recovery for Marias, one which – to be successful – will need him to face up to the truth about himself. But Emma has her own profound sense of guilt…

The book has a rambling aimless feel to it, with a plot that doesn't so much twist as meander. There's a continuous sense that something profound lurks just out of reach – unfortunately that is where it stayed. The phrase 'never waste a minute' echoes through the lives of each of the characters and all of them fail to understand it, but as profundity goes, that's something of a cliché. In essence The Silence of the Wave is a story of quite ordinary heartbreak, peopled by characters who are more sympathetic than their history gives them any right to be. By no stretch is it a poor book but for me it was an odd, uninspiring read.

Lovers of Italian crime should be addicted to Dibdin's Aurelio Zen series, of which Bookbag reckons Cabal Cabal to be one of the best.

Buy The Silence of the Wave by Gianrico Carafiglio at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Silence of the Wave by Gianrico Carafiglio at

Buy The Silence of the Wave by Gianrico Carafiglio at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Silence of the Wave by Gianrico Carafiglio at


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