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Il corriere colombiano

(L'Alligatore #4)

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  336 ratings  ·  45 reviews
L'Alligatore è in crisi. L'ex galeotto, ex cantante di blues, ora detective per necessità economiche e voglia di giustizia, si accorge che il gioco si è fatto più duro, è cresciuta la violenza, le vecchie regole sono saltate e, soprattutto, chi tira la fila è troppo in alto, troppo potente. Per coprire un'operazione speciale i corpi scelti delle forze dell'ordine incastran ...more
Paperback, Tascabili, 209 pages
Published 2001 by E/O (first published 2000)
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Average rating 3.56  · 
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 ·  336 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘The left has been marginalized for good. It’s not our world any longer. For s brief moment, we held it in the palm of our hand. Then they snatched it away again...’ - Massimo Carlotto

Fascinating exploration of the complex web of law and lawlessness in Italy inextricably linked to a global network. It’s a complex world where traditional moralistic standpoints and codes do not feature. Many decisions are Machiavellian and those involved have little recourse to conventional notions of justice. It
Mar 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: european, crime
At this time of the year for some reason, goodness knows what, I crave dark, violent, humorous escapism. I crave pulp, noir, hardboiled, I'll even happily take nasty. THE COLOMBIAN MULE delivered exactly what I was looking for.

It doesn't hurt that this isn't a police procedural, a stereotypical lone wolf private detective or any of the expected scenarios as well. Instead we do have a PI, who works with a group of old friends, to solve problems. In this case, the problem is why one man seems to h
Thomas Pluck
Carlotto, imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit, creates a good series about a criminal fixer who helps falsely convicted criminals. This one was kind of low-key but interesting reading, if not very exciting. The translation is British-focused (informants are called "grass" and "supergrass"), and full of tropes (the killer gangster with a code; drug dealers are bad, thieves are "good" and have middle-class values, the crooks call a cop a "flatfoot" even though it's not 1940, etc.) Despite my c ...more
This book was a big disappointment. After loving At aThe End of a Dull Day I expected much more. This book was clunky and awkward. The tropes were well worn ruts in that old mystery bypass of the detective/recovery specialist. I think the butler in this case is the translator, one Christopher Wodall. He did it.
An exciting fast-paced crime novel. A cocaine smuggler is caught and a semi-innocent man is on the hook. Our gang of criminals, working for money from the guy’s lawyer, tries to clear him while staying between the lines and out of prison. Complicated, but a real page-turner.
AUTHOR Carlotto, Massimo
TITLE The Columbian Mule
DATE READ 06/12/2019
FIRST SENTENCE Somehow the Columbian knew he was fucked the moment he met the cop's gaze.
GENRE/ PUB DATE/PUBLISHER / # OF Crime Fic/2001/Orion/156 pgs
CHALLENGE Good Reads 2019 Reading Goal 98/111;
CHARACTERS Arios Cueves -- the drug mule from Columbia; Alligator -- former blues singer, x-con and now a PI
TIME/PLACE 2001/Venice
COMMENTS 1st read by this author -- ver
Been in a reading rut, as in nothing on my bookshelf looks interesting. Went to a bookstore, saw this, maybe reading a noir would help? Read it quickly I probably won't read others by this author. The Colombian Mule's most interesting feature is the insight into the rules and ethics of Italian criminals & the characters are built on people the author knows. ...more
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Different and engaging. If you are looking for something other than the usual fare then Carlotto is a writer to look out for. I had him recommended to me and this book didn't disappoint. The crime being investigated isn't centre-stage, instead the characters, Italy and its underworld are to the fore. Excellent.
Rogue Reader
Carlotto's signature, the Alligator's first person point of view makes this so real. The Colombian drug trade seeks territory in northern Italy through prostitution, violence and blackmail. Even more shocking is the female drug lord.
Donald Schopflocher
Neat subversion of conventions even of noir: An ex-con acting as a PI in the service of other criminals, some of whom act honourably when cops do not. Plot was a bit pedestrian though.
Steve Streeter
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great start to a series I know I will enjoy
Danny H LeSeure
May 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Strong characters

Lots of texture in this one. Many strong characters and an intricate plot. Set across much of northern Italy. Looking forward to more of the Alligator stories.
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, easy read. Interesting plot. Unfortunately anticlimactic.
Very noir and extremely complicated. I like the later books in the series much better.
Jun 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2004-reads
RATING: 4.25

He's an unlikely private detective. Formerly a blues singer, "Alligator" could easily be mistaken for one of the criminals that he is pursuing. He's in partnership with two other guys, Rossini and Max the Memory, who have rather dubious pasts themselves. But what is not in doubt is that they have the street smarts and skills to do whatever job needs to be done.

Guillermo Arias Cuevas has made a big mistake. He's stolen 800 grams of cocaine from his aunt, "La Tia", and smuggled it from
Martin Stanley
Massimo Carlotto's The Colombian Mule is one of a series of novels featuring a recurring character Marco 'The Alligator' Buratti, a PI who was once imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit, along with his accomplices Max The Memory and former Mafia heavy Beniamino Rossini. In this novel he is tasked with working for a man who has been fitted up in a sting involving a Colombian drug mule. His case isn't helped by the fact that he is already a fairly unrepentent criminal (who got away with the murd ...more
A huge disappointment. I don't know if it's mainly the translator's fault or if all of Carlotto's books are this bad. Heaven knows, he came highly rated as one of the founders of 'Mediterranean noir', alongside Jean-Claude Izzo. I've read Izzo - A Sun for the Dying was one of my discoveries of 2013. But, on the evidence of The Colombian Mule, Carlotto isn't worthy of tying Izzo's shoelaces. And yet, he's been published by Europa - this one as well as seven other titles!

All the faults of the gen
Sep 04, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime, fiction
This is an interesting twist on the usual crime formula. Our intrepid investigators Alligator, Rossini and Fat Max are themselves ex-cons with a strong sense of honour amongst thieves who devote themselves to infiltrating organised crime syndicates to ensure justice for those used as expendable pawns in their game. There's nothing sentimental about them though, they think nothing of employing the tools of the gangster - blackmail, extortion and assassination - in pursuit of their goals.

In this t
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
Not having read so called 'Mediterranean Noir' before, I thought I'd give this a go, expecting a fictional gangster whodunnit. What I got was a slice of the Italian criminal underworld, based in fact and disguised as fiction - by the writers own admission in the Author's Note.

Having said that, it isn't badly written. It's also a very good translation from the original Italian. So, if you can find sympathy for thieves, drug traffickers, pimps & murderers who think they are hard done by so far as
MB Taylor
No one in a Carlotto novel is a good guy; but some are less bad (or at least more sympathetic) than others.

Towards the end of this book Buratti asks one of his partners: "Whose side are we on, Max?"; and Max replies "The side of the innocent." In this novel the innocent they are defending is a cop-killer who beat the rap and who is in jail awaiting trial for a crime he didn't commit. Max & Buratti (and possibly Carlotto) have a different definition of innocent than I do.

But a fun read nonetheles
Kevin Doyle
Deceptively simple in style, this books cracks with attitude and many memorable characters. As much about life as any particular crime, it moves at a no-nonsense pace. A taste of the real Italy too, no doubt. File under "Crime on the Left"

"It's on account of the investigations I do, the cases we work on together, the bits and pieces of truth we uncover, the little skirmishes we have with the corrupt and powerful. It's the engine that keeps both our lives going. It's what make sense of everything
Jul 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid crime novel and a European crime book that isn't a police procedural. In fact it's an Italian spin on classic pulp hardboiled stuff.

The hero like the writer is an ex-convict, and he captures both the fears and paranoia that surround a life after incarceration.

Fun and original characters and a pace that wastes no time. There is no fat on this book, and that is part of the pleasure of the read.
Dave Riley
Sep 16, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
Enriched by a certain street wise noir and interesting because it generates it from an Northern Italian POV. But it's Raymond Chandler approach to life, love and mateship is a touch archaic I think. The connection the plot has to Italian Mafiosa makes it a touch exotic nonetheless and despite Carlotto background as a political dissident, there's very little politics here except as ambiance.
Columbian cocaine makers and Italian dealers, reformed bad guys, corrupt cops all working within the system or working outside the system in Massimmo Carlotto exciting adventure. Fast paced , almost too fast paced that you lose tract of who is who and who you are cheering for.
Sort of a fun read but not my usual .
Ed Mckeon
Jul 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
I read the English translation of this short (approx 170 pp) book, and struggled to finish it. Something must be lost in the translation. Characters (too many cram the pages of this short crime novel) I don't care about solving a "crime" that will allow a murder to go free after being framed for a drub smuggling crime he didn't commit.
Aug 15, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Probably the weakest of Carlotto's books I've read so far. The novel feels rushed, the plot is a little convoluted, and the action is minimal. Too bad. Still has an occasional juicy moment, but overall the book is flat. I was bored more than once.

On the plus side, the author's incessant talk of the drink calvados inspired me to go out and buy a bottle. It was okay, but a new experience.
Massimo Carlotto's genre can best be described as "Mediterranean Noir".
His detective and his associates are all ex cons, don't shrink back from some unorthodox measures that are decidecly on the wrong side off the law and all three have their own favourite booze they which they drink in large quantities.

I found the book amusing but without much depth or a a killer plot.
Nov 19, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italy, read-in-2011
This insipid imitation of Raymond Chandler has a lame plot and cardboard characters. I wish I thought that the writer was making a joke about Italian criminals mimicking American gangsters, but unfortunately I don't think anything so subtle as that is going on here.
Sep 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italy
Thought this book would be about Colombia - but it's about Colombian drug dealers and prostitutes in Italy. A fun read - with more info about drug dealing than I needed to know. As nasty in Italy as anywhere else.
Markus Volk
Jan 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the books you can hardly stop until read through. Started it Saturday evening during a snow storm weekend and finished it Sunday. Not quite a good one for waiting for the plane, you might miss the flight while reading...
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Massimo Carlotto è nato a Padova il 22 luglio 1956. Nel 1976, giovane universitario e militante di L.C., scopre casualmente a Padova il cadavere senza vita di Margherita Magello, colpita da 59 coltellate, e viene accusato dalla polizia dell’omicidio dopo essersi recato volontariamente a testimoniare.

Other books in the series

L'Alligatore (9 books)
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  • Nessuna cortesia all'uscita
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  • Bandit Love
  • La banda degli amanti
  • Per tutto l'oro del mondo
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