Tangled Web UK Review July 2008
File Updated: 02/08/2008

Blackout by Gianluca Morozzi
pbk out July 08 (Bitter Lemon Press) at £8.99

Gianluca Morozzi, born in 1971 in Bolgna, has written a cruel take on an Italian society obsessed with a US subculture and devoid of its own identity. Here is a dark thriller that the word claustrophobic was designed for. Three people get stuck in a lift in Bologna which is no more than three feet square for more than twelve hours. Aldo Ferro is a family man and an Elvis look-alike. Tomas is sixteen and on the verge of running away with his girl-friend Francesca. And Claudia, whose lesbian lover Bea is away making a film, just wants to get back home and out of her hated skimpy waitress uniform. The problem is that one of them is a serial killer.
No need to guess who the killer is. We are told that right at the beginning with a shocking insight into the result of the killerís latest effort, which is recorded on video for later enjoyment. With one person in the lift so devoid of normal feelings, it cannot be long before the powder-keg that is a steel-lined lift blows up. But Morozzi gives us a slow burning fuse. He teases us with back-stories for each of the characters, setting up the tension in each personís situation. Then gives us an hour by hour account of the deteriorating situation. When the explosion comes, it is from an unexpected quarter. The final twist in the tale leaves the reader with a bitterly ironic taste in the mouth.
It gives nothing away to point out that this is a satire on an obsession with reality TV, soon to be made into a film directed by newly emerging Mexican director, Rigoberto Castaneda. His cult status relied on the recent film "Km31", an atmospheric ghost story, that is only just now being released in the UK. It remains only to report that the translator of Blackout is Howard Curtis, renowned for also translating Simenon and Pirandello. How appropriate.

( Ian Morson Author of Falconer books and short listed for 1999 Ellis Peters Historical Crime Dagger)
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