Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Giancarlo De Cataldo

For The Rap Sheet, “Michael Gregorio” (the joint pseudonym used by husband and wife Michael G. Jacob and Daniela De Gregorio) interviewed Giancarlo De Cataldo, who "is many things, most notably a criminal court judge who works in Rome and ... the author of several novels that have topped the Italian bestseller lists" and the editor of Crimini, an anthology of short Italian crime stories.

Part of the interview:

MG: Which British or American thriller writers do you admire? And which of their books would you like to have written?

GDC: I admire a lot of people. The classic Conan Doyle, the contemporary Ellroy, and many other “old masters” such as [Dashiell] Hammett, [Raymond] Chandler, Jim Thompson, Cornell Woolrich, Lawrence Block. I admire James Lee Burke, Ed McBain, Ruth Rendell, Patricia Highsmith, Elmore Leonard (who taught me how to thread “cool” elements into a dark story), the great Derek Raymond, David Peace (his Red Riding Quartet is absolutely terrific!), Robert Wilson (A Small Death in Lisbon and The Blind Man of Seville). I am a very keen reader, you know! And recently I have discovered Ian Rankin. He and I share a sense of atmosphere, I think. I recently read a novel of his (The Naming of the Dead) which has an amazing political and social plot, and takes place during the G8 meeting in Scotland in 2005. We have the same “take” on the mob underworld and their shady connections with the secret services and the corrupt side of power politics. That’s what I mean when I speak about great contemporary crime writing. You can find something similar in Italy in Massimo Carlotto’s books. And I vote for Inspector John Rebus as one of the most powerful fictional characters of the last 30 years!

MG: Which Italian crime story should every British or American reader be sure to read?

GDC: Apart from the Italian classics--Gadda’s Il pasticciaccio and Sciascia’s works--I strongly recommend Massimo Carlotto (Arrivederci amore ciao, Il corriere colombiano, Nessuna cortesia all’uscita), Carlo Lucarelli’s trilogy featuring Dr. De Luca of the Fascist Police, and, of course, Andrea Camilleri, regardless of your contrary opinion, Michael!
Read the complete Q & A.

--Marshal Zeringue