General Fiction

La ruga del cretino

(The Idiot’s Wrinkle)

Garzanti, February 2015, pp.300

#3 Bestseller list

Summer of 1893. A famous criminologist, a medium, a slightly odd young peasant, a mysterious assassin…

For the first time, a noir intrigue surrounds the exhilarating and picturesque world of Bellano on the shores of Lake Como, turning the clocks back to the beginnings of psychiatry and modern criminology.

Serpe and Arcadio’s third daughter is called Birce, and she was born crooked. She has a mark on her left cheek and at times she says and does strange things. Who would want a girl like that? Who would even employ her as a house slave? It is the month of August 1893 and for the couple, who work at the rectorate of the Bellano sanctuary, the perfect opportunity has finally arisen. Giuditta Carvasana, a pious woman who has just moved to the region, has every intention of doing good deeds such as, for example, helping a young girl with no future. This would be no small victory for Birce, for whom life does not seem to hold a happy destiny. Just like the poor florist in Via Torino who was massacred in the middle of the road. Truth be said, she was not the first victim during that summer long ago. Their bodies are available to be viewed in the anatomic room of the famous alienist Cesare Lombroso, who analyses them carefully, convinced that medicine might provide some help to the enquiry. Furthermore, a piece of paper covered in undecipherable mathematical signs turns up in the pockets of the two poor victims. Do they point to a link between the deaths? And could it be that Lombroso himself has become a target, having previously received a similar piece of paper from an anonymous sender? Scientific rigorousness will not suffice to solve this mystery. There is a possibility, muses Lombroso, that spiritism might help. However, only people out of the ordinary know how to practice spiritism… A bit like Birce, with her mark, who sometimes says and does strange things…

Garzanti, February 2015, pp.300

Andrea Vitali

Andrea Vitali was born in 1956 on the eastern shore of Lake Como, where he still lives and works as a medical doctor. He started writing novels in 1989 and since then has kept up his prolific career by accumulating a series of literary prizes. A success that’s lasted 15 years, made up exclusively of bestsellers, first places in the charts, prizes, and ecstatic reviews from the press and critics. More than 3,500,000 readers in Italy alone.

Massimo Picozzi

Massimo Picozzi is a psychiatrist and criminologist. He teaches negotiation and communication skills in crisis situations within the Carabinieri Corps, at Bocconi University, and at the Sole 24 Ore where he leads a Masters Degree in Criminology and Economic Crimes. As an expert psychiatrist, he has studied all the major news reports over the last years. He has written 24 books.

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