Packshot of The Root of all Evil: Commissario Balistreri Trilogy (Book 2)

The Root of all Evil: Commissario Balistreri Trilogy (Book 2)

Roberto Constantini (Author)

Translated from Italian, this is the second in the Commissario Balisteri trilogy, weighing in at 675+ pages. It falls into two parts - Balisteri's teenage life and friendships based in Libya until the Gaddafi takeover; the second showing him as a police officer in Italy, investigating murders that apparently have links to his years in Libya. Both depict the underlying national and international politics, patronage, graft and corruption attached to this "emerging" oil rich nation - and in Italy and elsewhere too.


Although not an "easy" read, I enjoyed the Libyan section - eye opening as to the politics of the time - but found the crime-based second portion immensely tiresome. Balisteri is not a sympathetic character and I found his obsessions frankly boring. And then the crime plot focuses on female victims. I was not convinced by any of the female characters and the constant, casual, negative refererences to them, often with sexuual innunendo, would have caused me to dump this book much earlier if not for review.


In short an OK political thriller (first section) spoilt by trying to fit it within a poorer police procedural later on; probably satisfying readers of neither. I suspect most groups would avoid this one as too much hard reading as a result.

Reviewed by: Hilary White - Montrose

Personal read:

Group read:

Publisher: Quercus


Published Date: Thu 07th Aug 2014

Format: Hardback

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