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Solea Paperback – May 7 2013

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Europa Editions; Reprint edition (May 7 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609451287
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609451288
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 13.5 x 2.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #81,253 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In Izzo's taut concluding volume to his memorable Marseilles trilogy (after 2006's Chourmo), former cop Fabio Montale is still struggling to find a purpose in the wake of his leaving the police force. Despite his pessimism, Montale allows himself to hope again after he falls hard for a woman named Sonia he meets in a bar; noir fans will be less than surprised that the flicker of romantic promise is quickly extinguished—in this case by a Mafia hit man targeting Montale and people he cares for to get him to divulge the location of his journalist friend, Babette, who's written an exposé detailing mob links with politicians and the police. Babette's sophisticated analysis of organized crime's effect on the working classes, plus Izzo's unsparing treatment of his cynical hero, elevate this far above most Mafia-themed fiction. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The concluding volume of the late Izzo's Marseilles trilogy remains utterly uncompromising in its allegiance to the classic noir worldview. Fabio Montale, the embittered former cop, sees nothing but misery in his own future and in the future of his beloved city, but he still tries to protect those he loves from similar fates. Ah, but in a noir world, any spot of tenderness is a point of vulnerability, and sure enough, the Italian Mafiosi, desperate to silence Montale's former lover, investigative journalist Babette, target Fabio's friends as the way to pry from him the information they need. There is a eulogistic tone to this novel, not only because it is Izzo's last, but because he seems to be saying farewell to possibility, farewell even to the idea of constructing a separate peace out of harm's way from the world. A Jim Thompson–like ending—served with Izzo's no-frills lyricism—pretty well seals the deal: "Could you draw the curtains on our life? I'm tired." The sun shines brightly in Marseilles, but Izzo's Mediterranean noir is as dark as noir can get. Ott, Bill --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Solea: Fabio Montale's solemn last dance Dec 28 2007
By Lonya - Published on
Format: Paperback
"Solea" is a fitting title for the third and final volume of Jean-Claude Izzo's "Marseilles Trilogy". Solea is a form of Flamenco music that tends to center around a melancholy self-examination of life, love and death. Readers who have already worked their way through Volumes I (Total Chaos (Marseilles Trilogy)) and II (Chourmo) of the Marseilles Trilogy know that food and music provide a powerful backdrop for the life of Fabio Montale, the `star' of the trilogy. So when Montale sits down and listens to Miles Davis perform Solea (from Davis' Sketches of Spain LP) at the beginning of the story I went online and listened to that performance and its haunting sounds stayed with me until I finished the book.

As Solea opens, Montale seems to have settled into his retirement from the Marseilles police force. He almost seems content, or at least as content as Montale is ever likely to be. But death has a way of finding a way to the door of those near to Montale and in short order Montale is tossed into crime and punishment Marseilles-style. It seems his former lover and long time friend Babette is on the run from organized crime. A reporter, she has dug up enough information about the mob and its dealings in Marseilles and throughout Europe, to warrant her being silenced. She has apparently managed to hide herself away and the mob decides to start killing Montale's friends until he agrees to find Babette, bring her back to Marseilles and turn over the incriminating data. The rest of the story takes us through Montale's search for Babette through a final confrontation with her stalkers.

The plot line itself may sound formulaic and even trite but in the hands of Jean-Claude Izzo it works remarkably well. By the time the reader gets to Solea (and I do think the books should be read in order to get the full value of the stories) he or she will have a pretty good feel for Montale and his friends and for the city of Marseilles. Montale, like his creator, is a creature of Marseilles. He was born and raised there and there seems no doubt that he will never leave it. As with the first two volumes the city comes alive; the sights, smells, and people of Marseille seem almost real from one page to the next. So yes, the story line does come across as a bit tried and true but its setting saves it. Izzo also has a habit of putting in a few extraneous characters that come in to and fade out of the story in a sometimes confusing way. But again, the character of Montale, the very real feeling of empathy one gets for him as the trilogy progresses makes the occasional dangling character or story line seem less bothersome.

All in all Solea is a fitting conclusion to the Marseilles Trilogy. As with any good series I was sorry to see it end. However, anyone who finishes Izzo's trilogy may want to have a look at the television series based on the book and starring Alain Delon. Fabio Montale

The Marseilles Trilogy was well worth the time invested in reading the three volumes. Highly recommended. L. Fleisig
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Capital of the Third World Aug. 28 2007
By Stephen Adelman - Published on
Format: Paperback
Either in this book or one of the other two in the trilogy, Izzo calls his beloved Marseilles the capital of the third world. It is a convincing statement. In fact, as in the other two books of the trilogy, the city itself seemed as important as the characters and plot details; and what the author, as narrator, had to see about its history and its people.

At times, however, I did find the number of characters confusing, and as a result, lost track of who was doing what to whom.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
An Engaging Read March 29 2009
By Peter Weissman - Published on
Format: Paperback
"Once you get to a certain age, you don't make friends anymore. But you still have buddies .... "

It's the narrator's voice that made this book an engaging read. The genre as excuse, you might say, for sociological, existential, and social commentary. But since Solea is in fact a mystery, the plot, and the stoking whodunit the reader's curiosity is important too; we have to be able to either unravel the puzzle or make a fair stab at it. In which regard the number of Izzo's characters cluttered the unfolding story.

Still, the protagonist's always intelligent observations held me throughout, even as I lost the various threads. And if you've ever been to Marseille and are as intrigued by that polyglot city as I am, you'll cut the author even more slack.I Think, Therefore Who Am I?
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
End of a Fine Trilogy Jan. 27 2008
By Jonathan A. Weiss - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book completes (unfortunately with a predictable ending)Izzo's Marseille saga featuring Fabrizio Montale an ex-cop who reflects, drinks, and womanises a lot. Earlier volumes were harder to follow with their many characters not really described. Here there are fewer with many less twists and turns. He writes well but repetively. He is a one-trick pony, but it is a very good trick.
Thriller in Southern France July 10 2013
By Andrea Cafarelle - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fans of Donna Leon or Maurizio de Giovanni should enjoy this trilogy.
Marseilles is gritty and the author captures the sense of tension among the different groups of French.