Il Complotto

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-06-21
  • Publisher: Author Solutions

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This book, il complotto (the plot) is the first in a trilogy. It is followed by il segreto (the secret) and la fuga (the escape). A seemingly motiveless murder of Gianna Ambrosio, a young Italian woman married to a wealthy Englishman, Charles Court, is carried out in 1968 and the crime is never solved. The widower remarries but maintains his link with the family in Venice and the lives of his new family become interwoven with them. After Court dies his eldest son Paul, who by now is living in Venice, digs up the past and convinces himself that he has solved the murder and proves how he thinks it was done and by whom. He hatches an elaborate plot to prove he is correct and bring the person to justice. Tragically his plan goes badly wrong and he is forced then to try and cover up the terrible things he has done. Is the original killer someone from the past or still alive and how does Paul try and conceal what he has done?

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This is taken from page 162 to 165 in the main manuscript. In Russo's opinion Court was once again showing a remarkable degree of arrogance and it was time once again to unnerve him. "It is a very strange killing that has taken place, Mr Court. Do you know why I say that?" "No, is this another one of your riddles, Commendatore?" "This is no game, Mr Court. A man is murdered and I am quite sure that the killer wants us to think that it was a gangland-type killing or drug-related perhaps. Cesare Ongaro was a low-level dealer and user of drugs with a criminal record. His murder could easily be explained as a killing related to this type of activity. In Italy, I suppose we have certain notoriety for this type of crime as you are no doubt fully aware of. Down in Sicily, the Mafia is known for its methods. In Naples, it is the Camorra that surface regularly. In Calabria, where they like to traffic girls from Eastern Europe, it is the Ndrangheta who are the scourge and like to cut the throats of anyone that falls out of favour." This was having no impact on Court at all who didn't wince at the mention of this. Russo continued, "They are experts with all kinds of illegal weapons like the stiletto for example. You know what that is, don't you?" "I do indeed." "Well, in Cesare Ongaro's case however, the local gangs in Jesolo have rejected accessories like this and use instead a knife called "Fusion Forever Sharp" made by the Richardson Company in Sheffield, England under the brand name of Prestige. Don't you think that rather strange? The gangland bosses and drug dealers here have taken to specially sharpening English kitchen knives in preference to their usual tools." Russo wondered whether the irony would make any difference to the response he got. It didn't but Court had to think quickly, as it was certainly a mistake to have used this makeshift weapon. He just hadn't expected not to be able to extract the weapon as the wound closed around it. He composed himself. "Well in case you hadn't noticed it, we're all in the Single Market now, Commendatore, and goods turn up from other countries in the most unlikely places. For years in Britain, we have been flooded with washing machines by companies like Zanussi, and very good they are too - why should you be so surprised that an English kitchen knife turns up in Italy? In any case, I suppose it may have occurred to you that it was not an organised gangland killing - just a desperate drug addict who got his hands on the first thing available." Russo was just about controlling his deep desire to lean over and punch Court in the face. Instead he raised his eyebrows. "And sharpened it to a deadly point? I don't think so. I prefer to think that it would more than likely be the kind of weapon that an Englishman, unused to committing murder would use in a premeditated way." Russo paused for a moment to see if there was going to be any reaction from Court but he just sat there saying nothing. He continued, "Especially, as I have indicated, when it was extracted from the corpse, we found that it had a very pointed tip as well as the give-away brand name. Have you got a set of these knives at your studio or perhaps back in England, Mr Court?" Court shook his head in mock disbelief. "Well I've got the odd knife in the kitchen back at the studio but that doesn't mean this has got anything to do with me." Court laughed then exclaimed loudly, "I don't think that if you look in my kitchen drawer that you're going to find that it is part of a set! You really are clutching at straws, aren't you?" "I don't find that very funny at all, Mr Court. You would have made sure that any matching knives were thrown into the nearest canal." Court was still laughing at him. "You'll have to dredge the canals next to where I live and see if they are there! What you are trying to imply is absolutely preposterous!" "But you have no alibi, Mr Court." "And you have no evidence, Russo." And with that Russo decided that there was nothing to be gained from any further questions at the moment. It was interesting that he couldn't provide an alibi so that made him a suspect and predictably, that he would trivialise his comments about the knife. The circumstantial case was building up against Court all right but there still wasn't the evidence of the type that he needed.

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