Barbara Pezzotti Wellington
My friend and crime fiction enthusiast David Moss has recently wondered about the ways detectives are embedded in key social relations: their parents, families, and girlfriends. He commented that most of the fictional Italian sleuths he knew were males and had a troubled relationship with women. Indeed, following a tradition of the hard-boiled novel, most Italian investigators don’t have a stable partner and are often victim of the stereotypical femme fatale. Pinketts’s Lazzaro Santandrea happily swirls from one woman to another
(but he still lives with his mum). In “Il mistero di Mangiabarche” Carlotto’s Alligatore has a dangerous encounter with Gina who reveals herself to be a professional killer and a psychopath. In “Ragionevoli dubbi” Carofiglio’s Guido Guerrieri has an affair with a client’s wife. Even our beloved Inspector Montalbano cheated on his girl-friend Livia in “La pista di sabbia”. Undoubtedly, the detectives’ private life has become increasingly important in contemporary crime series and is now a vital element in creating addiction. However, this parade of “mammoni”, immature, insecure and womaniser sleuths makes me think: do these detectives tell us something about Italian society? Do we have the sleuths we deserve? What do you think?