"Izzo’s Marseilles is ravishing. Every street, cafe and house has its own character.”
—Globe and Mail
Ugo, Manu, and Fabio grew up together on the mean streets of Marseilles, where friendship means everything. They promised to stay true to one another and swore that nothing would break their bond. But people and circumstances change. Ugo and Manu have been drawn into the criminal underworld of Europe’s toughest, most violent and vibrant city. When Manu is murdered and Ugo returns from abroad to avenge his friend’s death, only to be killed himself, it is left to the third in this trio, Detective Fabio Montale, to ensure justice is done. Despite warnings from both his colleagues in law enforcement and his acquaintances in the underworld, Montale cannot forget the promise he once made Manu and Ugo. He’s going to find their killer even if it means going too far.
In Izzo’s novels, Marseilles is explosive, tragic, breathtakingly beautiful and deadly. Asked to explain the astounding success of his now legendary Marseilles trilogy, Izzo credits his beloved native city: “Essentially, I think I have been rewarded for having depicted the real beauty of Marseilles, its gusto, its passion for life, and the ability of its inhabitants to drink life down to the last drop.” Fabio Montale is the perfect protagonist in this city of melancholy beauty. A disenchanted cop with an inimitable talent for living who turns his back on a police force marred by corruption and racism and, in the name of friendship, takes the fight against the mafia into his own hands.
“Just as Raymond Chandler and James Ellroy made Los Angeles their very own, so Mr. Izzo has made Marseilles so much more than just another geographical setting.”—The Economist
“Izzo’s ability to describe Marseilles and to make his readers feel the multiracial reality of that city so directly and authentically is fascinating.”—Andrea Camilleri
“One of the masterpieces of modern noir.”—The Washington Post
Jean-Claude Izzo was born in Marseilles, France, in 1945. Best known for the Marseilles trilogy (Total Chaos, Chourmo, Solea), Izzo is also the author of The Lost Sailors, A Sun for the Dying, Garlic, Mint & Sweet Basil, and one collection of short stories, Living Tires. He died in 2000 at the age of fifty-five.