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Reviews for Night Bus by Giampiero Rigosi

'Literary critic Rigosi has set his first crime novel in Bologna; it's a fast-moving thriller that compares favourably with the work of Elmore Leonard and Donald E. Westlake. Andrea Fabbri, a flashy playboy, makes the mistake of picking up Leila, a hustler, and taking her to his apartment, where she drugs him after having sex and lifts his wallet, which contains a document that's at the heart of a complex plot involving political blackmail. Soon, everyone is after Leila, including the Bear, an appropriately named debt collector with a penchant for mayhem. Leila teams up with Francesco, a bus driver and compulsive gambler, also on the run from the Bear, and the two attempt to outwit their pursuers, who are resourceful-and bloodthirsty. Like Leonard, Rigosi has a fondness for underworld denizens who are oddly likable even at their most malevolent. Even if the ending is a tad predictable, this is an exciting ride for those who don't mind some ugly violence.'

- Publishers Weekly

'The caper novel in which the hero is a loveable rogue is very much an American genre, in which Elmore Leonard and Donald Westlake have excelled (the closest British practitioners - Jack Trevor Story and Mike Ripley - have been more sardonic than light-hearted). So this debut Italian novel comes as pure delight. Leila is a practised hustler with money in the bank and the knowledge that, at 33, time is running out on her looks and chances of robbing hapless males in Bologna nightclubs. A chance encounter places her at the centre of a dangerous political blackmail plot and she is soon on the run from police, secret service and gangsters, with a suitcase stuffed with dollars, accompanied by a bus driver with his own nemesis. Frenetic, savagely funny, this is first rate and witty entertainment.'

- The Guardian

'Giampiero Rigosi is rightly being compared to Elmore Leonard and Quentin Tarantino for this thrilling piece of crime writing that weaves a fascinating (and often humorous) cast of characters together in a tale of blackmail, political intrigue, murder, and chance encounters over a four-day period in Bologna, Italy.'

- Reviewingtheevidence.com

'Francesco is a gambling-addicted bus driver in Bologna, with a thuggish debt collector on his trail; Leila is a smart dame with a great pair of legs, who each night looks for a man to bed, drug, and rob. In perfect noir fashion, the two become uneasy allies, trying to escape a pair of vicious intelligence agents after Leila unknowingly swipes a mysterious document from a victim's apartment. Rigosi somewhat overdoes character quirks-one agent has a condition that leads him to constantly leak tears as he slices apart his victims-but an ever-expanding cast of creeps and criminals keeps the plot accelerating, and he describes the dripping of blood and the angle of a broken neck as lovingly as the preparation of a nice eggplant parmigiana.'

- New Yorker

'A night bus might seem an odd vehicle to be driving through the centre of a thriller. Its driver, Francesco, is a down at heel bachelor who spends his long days gambling and hiding from a thuggish debt-collector known as the Bear. It is only when he pairs up with Leila, a sharp-witted and beautiful prostitute who makes her living drugging and robbing her clients--before or after bed, whichever is easier-- that his life takes on something like a sheen of glamour. The taut, muscular prose and noirish moods of the novel owe something to Elmore Leonard, though with a more obvious cinematic quality. The narrative whisks through a series of short scenes and clipped dialogue, shifting dizzyingly from one location to another. In a character based black comedy in the style of Quentin Tarantino we are entertained by recipes for Italian meals as devised by beloved mamma but cooked by an assassin, slapstick scenes of blundering criminality, and hilarious descriptions of physical appearance. Without forsaking the thriller's requirements of plot and pace, Rigosi provides a bitter satire on ambition and stupidity, greed and gullibility. A spider's web in which all politicians are corrupt, all families dysfunctional, all friendships based on business or fear, and all our illusions about love and sex no better than a chance encounter with a toothless transsexual. Welcome to twenty-first century Italy, where the fountains are dried up, the tomato sauce gives you heart burn, and romance is in its death throes.'

- The Times Literary Supplement

'Well written with some good twists to keep it gripping.'

- Coventry Evening Telegraph

'It's as satisfying and delicious as a Bolognese amatriciana - and with more twists and turns than the pasta that goes with it.'

- Tangled Web

'Suitcases and blackmail notes change hands at a frenetic pace against a background of torture and murder. Rigosi has constructed a savagely funny crime adventure with an Italian twist that keeps you in suspense until the very last page.'

- Italia

'The key to this delightful translation of a fine Italian thriller is that the cast seems real and likable, even the enforcer, Bear. The story is action packed as the hustler and her gambling addicted partner struggle to survive and find a way to outfox their various adversaries; of course Leila would also like to make several euros out of what she holds. Giampiero Rigosi provides a fun tale that in some ways may remind readers of the zaniness of Get Shorty.'

- Harriet Klausner
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