NIGHT BUS - Giampiero Rigosi
Francesco is a bus driver and gambling addict. Leila is a hustler, picking up men in night clubs and robbing them. Francesco is having big problems with Bear, a debt collector who doesn't have that nickname for no reason. Leila gets more than she bargains for when she finds the key to a locker on a man she's in the process of robbing.
Following that key to the associated locker finds Leila involved in something much bigger than she could have expected. Francesco and Leila find allies in each other as Leila unexpectedly turns up on Francesco's bus late one night and in big trouble over the key, but able to help when Francesco comes face to face with Bear.
There is a lot happening in NIGHT BUS. There are a lot of people coming in and out of the story and there's a lot at stake for all of the players. Right to the end the story is intertwining and twisting around Francesco and Leila and the activities that Leila has accidentally exposed with the theft of the key. The pace really keeps moving and there is a sense of irony and fun in the storytelling that makes this an intriguing book.
There is also a deftness in character portrayal which was a joy. All of the "villains" are different, quirky, human. The heroes are accidental ones. The ones that do something daft in the first place and have to dig like crazy to get themselves out of their own crater.
Ultimately you'd have to call this a caper novel, a real pleasure - thoroughly recommended.
Leila is young, beautiful and a hustler. She robs hapless men picked up in the night clubs of Bologna. Easy money, until she ends up with a document at the center of a plot of political blackmail. In an atmosphere of intense paranoia two secret service operatives, a goon hired by the blackmailer and the police all pursue Leila for the document and a suitcase full of dollars meant to be the pay-off. She joins forces with Francesco, a bus driver and gambling addict on the run from the Bear, a terrifying debt collector. Suitcases and blackmail notes change hands at a frenetic pace against a background of torture and murder.