All the action in book sales this week is with the blockbuster buy-ins as Giorgio Faletti’s I Kill and Justin Cronin’s The Passage go head to head. I Kill has picked up more sales in its first few weeks than did The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo which, of course, comes a huge relief to its Australian publisher which was probably wondering how to shore up sales once (if) the Dragon Tatto juggernaut finally runs out of steam. Meanwhile, the full weight of the US marketing machine is behind The Passage and for once, it sounds like it has backed a damn good story.
Meanwhile, if you missed the July edition of Booktopia Buzz, here is my coverage to bring you up to speed. And check out our prices!
I KILL by Giorgio Faletti
Giorgio Faletti is a man clearly not content with one career but he is likely to become best-known (outside his native Italy) for his blockbuster thriller, I Kill, which has already sold over 5 million copies worldwide before its appearance in translation.
While much Italian crime fiction is deliberately parochial, Faletti paints his exuberant narrative on the largest of canvases, and the template here is very much grand-scale, international thriller writing as practised by several top American and British writers. In this regard, Faletti knows exactly what he’s doing.
The setting is Monte Carlo, both a playground of the rich and a bolt hole for the criminally inclined. In I Kill, the more upscale residents are being targeted by an implacable serial killer who calls himself ‘No One’ (shades of Ulysses in Homer’s Odyssey?). He inveigles a reluctant radio talk-show host into allowing him to announce each killing (set against a soundtrack that indicates who the next victim will be). And at the scene of each crime are the words I Kill, scrawled in the victim’s blood. The murderer’s nemesis is FBI agent Frank Ottobre, struggling to come to terms with the death of his wife, and Police Commissioner Nicholas Hulot. Both men have their work cut out for them, as ‘No One’ continues to cut a bloody swathe through his victims, seemingly unstoppable.
Faletti is well aware of the imperatives of the blockbuster thriller, and all the requisite buttons are pushed here. The book is long — over 500 pages — but the tension is maintained throughout with genuine skill.
(Review by Barry Forshaw, crimetime.co.uk)
Amy Harper Bellafonte is six years old and her mother thinks she’s the most important person in the whole world. She is. Anthony Carter doesn’t think he could ever be in a worse place than Death Row. He’s wrong. FBI agent Brad Wolgast thinks something beyond imagination is coming. It is.
The Passage is an epic, awe-inspiring novel of good and evil that is destined to be a global bestseller. With its vast narrative sweep, dazzling cast of characters and towering vision (not to mention an impressive worldwide marketing budget), The Passage is a feat of imagination that will captivate a huge audience. Combining the mythic storytelling of Stephen King with the brilliance of Cormac McCarthy, The Passage was acquired in a fiercely competitive auction involving the entire UK publishing industry. Meanwhile, movie rights have been sold to Ridley Scott. This book is going to be big, big, big.
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