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Almost Blue

(Ispettore Grazia Negro #2)

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  1,817 ratings  ·  98 reviews
Un ragazzo cieco ascolta la città con lo scanner, unica compagnia Almost Blue suonato da Chet Baker. Un assassino si reincarna nelle sue vittime, e corre per le strade con nelle orecchie il rock piu metallico. Una giovane detective molto determinata scopre di essere donna, e tutta intera, in un universo tutto di uomini.

Nessuno vuole ammetterlo, ma a Bologna c'è un assassino s
Paperback, Stile Libero #457, 194 pages
Published 1997 by Einaudi
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Jessica "....finché non sento sotto le dita il contatto freddo dello schienale della panchina. Faccio scivolare la mano sulla vernice screpolata e con la…more"....finché non sento sotto le dita il contatto freddo dello schienale della panchina. Faccio scivolare la mano sulla vernice screpolata e con la gamba cerco il sedile, seguendone il bordo finché non trovo l'angolo e posso calcolare la distanza giusta per sedermi. Scendo lentamente, prima con il palmo della mano e poi con il resto ma quando tocco le liste di ferro...."(less)

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Average rating 3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,817 ratings  ·  98 reviews

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Feb 07, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-mystery
This was not a good book. On the cover, the Guardian says it’s a “compact and powerful masterpiece”, but I think they meant “thank God this piece of shite is only short” and it was apparently shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger award (it must have been a really long shortlist that year). A serial killer - later dubbed The Iguana because he takes on the physical traits of his victims - is ‘terrorising’ Bologna and a rookie Detective - Grazia Negro - is assigned to the case. The only witness is a ...more
I was not very impressed by the book. I found it often too far fetched, unnecessary complicated and sometimes lacking a good pace. However, partly the reason for this could be that I read the book in translation + not in my native language. I might try another part of the series to see if my opinion will stand
Yvann S
Sep 24, 2011 rated it liked it
“This voice is different, less liquid, hazier, smoky, like thick fog.”

From the blurb: A serial killer is terrorising the people of Bologna and rookie Detective Inspector Grazia Negro is determined to solve the case. She only has one witness who can identify the killer – and he is blind. Simone spends his days listening to Chet Baker and scanning the radio waves of the city, eavesdropping on other people’s lives. He imagines what people are like – based on the ‘colour’ of their voices
Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
I have to say that I was disappointed by this book. It started so well, grabbing and pulling me in but, so suddenly, it shifted track and lost its focus. Lucarelli can write so beautifully, his ability to describe something is wonderful, and he understands drama, but here, in "Almost Blue" I feel he's tried to be too clever, too bloody and too melodramatic. We constantly shift between the tortured, chameleon-like murderer, the blind boy/man who spends his time scanning the wavelengths, and the p ...more
Mar 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
A novella (at only 169 pages) that is a real page turner. Its brevity perhaps does not allow for as much character development and background as would be ideal. It is, however, a very creative work with some unique characters and with a story spoken from different characters’ points of view. There are some interesting insights into the worlds of the mentally ill, the blind, as well as being a woman and living in a misogynistic culture and profession. And any book that makes so much reference to ...more
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was ok
I didn't like it so much. The story could be really interesting: a serial killer who takes the appareance of his victims, a police woman who wants to resolve the case and a blind boy who listen everything through some scanners.
The problem was that i didn't like the way in which it was written: ok, that's a thriller book and it's necessary to be mysterious, but in this case the structure of the book (the characters keep on alternating) is too complex and not so clear in some points.
Aug 21, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This was a little too creepy for me. By that I mean a little too much blood and gore and weirdness. Did not like the protaganist. And the author seems waaayyyy to preoccupied with a woman having her period. It was an overdescribed thread throughout the book.
Nov 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful thriller by renowed writer/journalist/tv host Carlo Lucarelli. You'll want to walk around Bologna by night to taste all the emotions in the book.
Oct 15, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-italians
Italian noir. I wanted to like this book, I really did. But lordy, it was so bad. I only give it two stars because I was intrigued enough to finish it.
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Bit violent, but good
Kristine Brancolini
Prior to Almost Blue I had only read Lucarelli's historical mysteries, the Commissario De Luca Trilogy. They are more about politics than murder, so I was surprised by Almost Blue, which features some very gruesome murders. Set in modern Bologna, this book focuses on a someone who is killing students at the University of Bologna. A young female detective named Grazia Negro is on the case. The female detective usually hooks me, and she's an intriguing protagonist, but the real treat in this book is the bl ...more
Jun 16, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh Lucarelli, you *rock* so much! Ok, again, I can't vouch for the translation as I have Einaudi's edition (in Italian) which I can't find here. Anyway, this is a crime story, of course. What else can Lucarelli write? Hm, maybe "thriller" or "noir" fit the plot better, but...anyway, the characters are, as usual, well rounded and well written. Grazia Negro, the main character, is a tough female detective whose work is to track and capture serial killers. Simone, a blind guy, is just as nicely wri ...more
Rob Kitchin
Jul 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
I think Lucarelli is one hell of a writer. He immediately plunges you into a story and he writes in a show don’t tell style that is pared back and yet full of insight. The story charts the interactions of the three principal characters, with Simone and the serial killer written in the first perspective. The characterization is excellent, and there are some nice observational touches. The plot is relatively straightforward and well structured. My two gripes are the same as with the three previous ...more
Nov 16, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italy
The writer Lucarelli is a famous person in Italy and also has a program on tv. If I remembe well, about unsolved crimes. I got told to try out a Lucarelli book by my boyfriend because apparently his books are also well known in italy. The title is in English but I read the story in Italian. Don't know if they translated his books in English.

I chose Almsot Blue as first Lucarelli book and did well. Almost Blue is the name of a song which is important to the story.

It is a short story,
Erica (LibrettoReviews)
A truly original and dark thriller. A quick read and essential that somehow reminds me of "Profumo" by Patrick Süskind. A serial killer, a detective and a blind boy, Simone, who lives in a world of sounds and music . The music is the focus of this book, which carries the title of the famous song by Chet Baker "Almost Blue". What most impressed me is not the story itself, that I do not particularly like, but it was the ability to give "eyes" to the protagonist who is blind from birth. I never sto ...more
Lorenzo Berardi
Carlo Lucarelli's black suited silhouette has become popular in Italy thanks to a well done programme on the third channel of national television. The programme mainly speaks about unresolved massmurderers, political killings, bombings and massacres which have happened in Italy in the last years.

Lucarelli's favourite opening line introducing a new case is "This is a scary story which has not finished yet" is known by a wide audience, including many people who haven't read a single bo
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-reads
SETTING: Bologna, Italy
SERIES: #1 of 2
WHY: Rookie DI Grazia Negro is assigned to lead the investigation of a serial killer who is targeting college students, whose bodies he leaves naked. He is soon dubbed "the Iguana" because he has the ability to transform from his most recent victim for his next assault. The only witness is a blind man named Simone who follows chat rooms on a scanner and identifies the killer's voice from its evil
Linda  Branham Greenwell
Female Detective Grazia Negro is brought from Rome to help track down a serial killer preying on university students in Bologna. Her one good lead comes from a blind man who sits in his room all day listening to scanners. He is picking up cell phone conversations, police scanners, and trucker cbs. The story alternates three first-person narratives: the detective's, the blind man's, and the killer's. The detective and killer's threads are fairly straightforward and what you might expect (she's to ...more
Sep 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, european, italy
A serial killer is terrorising the people of Bologna and rookie Detective Inspector Grazia Negro is determined to solve the case. She only has one witness who can identify the killer - and he is blind. Simone spends his days listening to Chet Baker and scanning the radio waves of the city, eavesdropping on other people's lives.
He imagines what people are like - based on the 'colour' of their voices - and his acute hearing sets alarm bells ringing when he tunes in to the killer.
May 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exceptionally creepy, but in a good way. The voices of Simone, the blind young man who hears the killer's voice on his scanner, and that of the killer himself are really well articulated and fascinating.

The young female detective Grazia is determined not to be thrown off course by institutionalized sexism and a prosecutor who ignores her recognition that a serial killer is active in Bologna. She's a terrific character, strong, sympathetic and well defined. I wish Lucarelli's books were more wid
Apr 13, 2012 rated it liked it
This is a maddening book. I think (maybe) that all of Lucareli's books are maddening. Not my favorite, but I don't think I'll forget it very soon. Noir. Dark noir. Well-constructed, but none of the characters really have much shape. Some don't even have names. This could be an excellent draft, to be fleshed out in the final version. Since it's not, it's well worth reading as is.
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Good story, but the constant change of perspective makes it hard to read. The reader always has to guess who is currently speaking, which is annoying and unnecessary. I generally dislike books in which the author seems to shout at the reader "I know more than you but I won't tell you". If a story requires such artificial measures to keep up the thrill, it is not well written.
Reetta Saine
Jul 24, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dekkarit
Read it in Finnish, but wasn't convinced. Maybe I don't listen to music enough - especially bee pop... Too much violence, too psycopathic psycho and not enough motivation or character building. And how disabled can a woman become when she's having her period? Well, don't ask Mr Lucarelli...
Jul 18, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italy, read-in-2016
I didn't think much of this as a book, but it would probably be okay if dramatised. The characterisation was thin and the plot wasn't much of a mystery. The switching of narrative voices didn't really work for me.
Nov 08, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Great Italian noir with a creepy serial killer who assumes his victims' identities and the detective who tries to find him with the help of a blind man. Scary and unique.
Katherine Spivey
Jan 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Supposed to be an Italian noir thriller. Underwhelmed.
Jan 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A curious but oddly satisfying book. I would have liked it to be longer as I was just getting a feel for the characters when it was all over. Good psychological thriller
Jan 31, 2013 rated it did not like it
alqmost blue and day after day are trash compared to lucarellis trilogy. the negro series relies on gore and women's menstrual cycles.
Jun 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A perfectly weighted crime novel about real identity theft, so good it makes me want to learn Italian and read it all over again.
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Lucarelli was born at Parma, the son of a physician. He was interested in literature and theatre when he was young, and studied Literature and History. Nowadays he lives in Mordano near Bologna.

Already in his years of study, during his research for his thesis subject he got in touch with the material for his first two books, which take place during the time of fascism and the years imm

Other books in the series

Ispettore Grazia Negro (5 books)
  • Lupo mannaro
  • Un giorno dopo l'altro
  • Acqua in bocca (Commissario Montalbano, #16.5)
  • Il sogno di volare
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“Quella che lei chiama Bologna, è un cosa grande, che va da Parma fino a Cattolica [...] dove davvero la gente vive a Modena, lavora a Bologna e la sera va a ballare a Rimini [...] è una strana metropoli [...] che s'allarga a macchia d'olio tra il mare e gli Appennini.” 0 likes
“Al-most-blue...con due pause in mezzo, due respiri sospesi da cui si capisce, si sente che sta tenendo gli occhi chiusi. Per questo mi piace Almost blue. Perchè è una canzone che si canta ad occhi chiusi.” 0 likes
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