Far from your typical police procedural, Kill The Father, by Sandrone Dazieri, is a dazzlingly complex psychological thriller with two of the most memorable characters I’ve read in quite some time. These complexities however come with a caveat that this read will NOT be for everyone — in fact, I imagine this will be a somewhat polarizing read, with people who either love it or hate it.
Here’s what you need to know before deciding whether this one’s for you:
— Kill The Father is translated to English from its original Italian debut. For the most part the translation is fantastic, though there are moments where text or ideas feel “blocky” and not fully compatible.
— This is a longer novel than most within the genre, due – in part – to quite a bit of unnecessary filler of what happens “off camera.” Meaning, you’ll read about what the characters had for breakfast and the jog and shower they took before the scene starts. This takes what should be a tightly-wrought thriller and turns it into a much lengthier story. Taking that into consideration, this is by far one of the most character-driven thrillers you’ll find. These moments have their place, I just felt there were too many of them.
— The narrative point of view slips from third person to an omniscient narrator quite jarringly in places, jumping from one person’s thoughts to another’s mid-scene. Distracting at first, but not a complete buzz-kill.
— Dazieri does not pull any punches. This is a dark journey told through two broken protagonists. Conspiracies to political manipulations to the gritty details of an investigative mystery will keep you fully enthralled. As an example, there’s a four-five page description of a bomb exploding — (in contention for some of the best writing I’ve ever read). There will be details in this novel that haunt you and keep you awake at night.
— It’s all about the characters. Colomba Caselli and Dante Torre are ingeniously drawn and its the dynamics between the two of them that carries this novel. With Dante, it’s hard not to draw comparisons to a modern Sherlock Holmes, though one who suffers from a plague of mental issues due to his own sordid past with the Father. These are characters you grow to love, characters you root for to win.
This novel is a slow bath, one that’s meant to be drawn out and enjoyed, a story that allows you to lose yourself within it. I, for one, am looking forward to more from Sandrone Dazieri.
** I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley and chose to review it. All opinions are my own **