My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Note: I actually read this book in italian, but it’s available in english too.
TLDR: A small book, can be read in a few hours – better if all at once, snorted up like the ashes Ghites is addicted to. Absolutely recommended even if you are new to the hard-boiled/noir genre, but don’t mind a little creepiness.
The first 2/3 of the book got me completely hooked up with its great pacing, the unbelievably vivid depiction of modern Milan and its underground “bestiary” – and with the basic premise of this work which I find very original. Although I have to admit I’m not a fan of the genre, so take that comment with a grain of salt.
The book lost some of that juice in last third, where it gives some weak, kind-of-sciency description of what Ghites thinks he’s doing and a non-supernatural scene which I found too unrealistic and stretched. I think the book would have gained from a bit more supernatural and a bit less tentative fake-science, but that’s me.
Despite this, I still enjoyed it to the end and couldn’t stop reading. I’m actually quite sad it’s a one-off. It’s a pity Acheron Books doesn’t like book series – I could see this being a creepy series of “detective” stories, and would surely buy them.