Giancarlo De Cataldo
Quasi per caso (Almost by Accident)
A novel, Mondadori, November 2019, 256 pages

Premio Ippolito Nievo 2021

A city in revolt. A young officer accused of murder. A race against time to save him from an execution.

Quasi per caso is set in the fiery days of the Roman Republic of 1849, in a city under siege awaiting the invasion, in which historical figures and imaginary murderers wander around and the private affairs of a handful of solitary and contentious heroes intertwine with the dream of the unification of Italy. The protagonists are Emiliano Mercalli of Saint-Just, a young officer of the Piedmontese Royal Police, a tenacious bloodhound, his beloved Naide, doctor and ex-actress, a free and independent woman, and Gualtiero Lancefroid, eccentric scientist. In the Risorgimento, the most luminous and neglected time in our national history, I am fascinated by the epic, the faith of the young fighters, the intrigue, the memory of courageous women who challenged the most obscure social conventions and anticipated the feminism of the following century.

As for the historical mystery, today it is one of the happiest territories for a writer, who doesn’t have to to deal, page after page, line by line, with printouts and DNA. And when the “forensics” of the time comes into play they do so with test tubes but also and above all with logic and intelligence. Thus, the crime and the investigation can finally be told once again for what they have always been, after all: a challenge between good and evil that develops in the realm of distorted passions. Whether it is interest or desire, it’s a matter of human beings, not algorithms.

Giancarlo De Cataldo

Giancarlo De Cataldo

Giancarlo De Cataldo was born in Taranto. He lives and works in Rome where he’s a judge of the First Appeal Assizes Court. He has been judge in many important and well-known cases, dealing with Mafia, murder, terrorism. His most famous novel is Romanzo Criminale (2002), that became a movie directed by Michele Placido and an equally successful TV series, directed by Stefano Sollima (also director of TV series Gomorra, based on Roberto Saviano’s novel). The series was broadcast by Channel 4 in UK. The English translation of the novel was published in 2015 by Corvus Publishing. Three of his short stories are translated in the anthologies Italian crime (Bitter Lemon Press), Cocaine and Judges (MacLehose Press). His novel The father and the foreigner is published by Europa Editions. He also wrote short stories, graphic novels, and scripts for cinema and TV networks.
His novel Suburra, co-written with the journalist Carlo Bonini, has been adapted for cinema by director Stefano Sollima and it is available worldwide on Netflix. He is story-editor of the Netflix TV series based on Suburra (currently at its second season, and renewed for a third). Suburra is published in English by Europa Editions. His most recent novels are L’agente del caos (2018), Alba nera (2019), Quasi per caso (2019, Premio Ippolito Nievo 2021), Io sono il castigo (2020), Tre passi per un delitto (2020, with Cristina Cassar Scalia e Maurizio De Giovanni), Un cuore sleale (2020), Il suo freddo pianto (2021).


Quasi per caso, a selected press review (PDF)


Quante Storie, Rai3










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