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L'Alligatore è in crisi. L'ex galeotto, ex cantante di blues, ora detective per necessità economiche e voglia di giustizia, si accorge che il gioco si è fatto più duro, è cresciuta la violenza, le vecchie regole sono saltate e, soprattutto, chi tira la fila è troppo in alto, troppo potente. Per coprire un'operazione speciale i corpi scelti delle forze dell'ordine L'Alligatore è in crisi. L'ex galeotto, ex cantante di blues, ora detective per necessità economiche e voglia di giustizia, si accorge che il gioco si è fatto più duro, è cresciuta la violenza, le vecchie regole sono saltate e, soprattutto, chi tira la fila è troppo in alto, troppo potente. Per coprire un'operazione speciale i corpi scelti delle forze dell'ordine incastrano un innocente con l'accusa di spaccio di cocaina colombiana. Tirarlo fuori di galera non sarà facile, perché l'uomo ha comunque dei conti in sospeso con la polizia. L'Alligatore, assieme ai due "soci" Rossini e Max la Memoria, va allo scontro con i narcotrafficantes colombiani, con gli spacciatori di ecstasy del Triveneto e con le forze dell'ordine.


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L'Alligatore è in crisi. L'ex galeotto, ex cantante di blues, ora detective per necessità economiche e voglia di giustizia, si accorge che il gioco si è fatto più duro, è cresciuta la violenza, le vecchie regole sono saltate e, soprattutto, chi tira la fila è troppo in alto, troppo potente. Per coprire un'operazione speciale i corpi scelti delle forze dell'ordine L'Alligatore è in crisi. L'ex galeotto, ex cantante di blues, ora detective per necessità economiche e voglia di giustizia, si accorge che il gioco si è fatto più duro, è cresciuta la violenza, le vecchie regole sono saltate e, soprattutto, chi tira la fila è troppo in alto, troppo potente. Per coprire un'operazione speciale i corpi scelti delle forze dell'ordine incastrano un innocente con l'accusa di spaccio di cocaina colombiana. Tirarlo fuori di galera non sarà facile, perché l'uomo ha comunque dei conti in sospeso con la polizia. L'Alligatore, assieme ai due "soci" Rossini e Max la Memoria, va allo scontro con i narcotrafficantes colombiani, con gli spacciatori di ecstasy del Triveneto e con le forze dell'ordine.

30 review for Il corriere colombiano

  1. 4 out of 5

    Haroon

    The left has been marginalized for good. Its not our world any longer. For s brief moment, we held it in the palm of our hand. Then they snatched it away again... - Massimo Carlotto Fascinating exploration of the complex web of law and lawlessness in Italy inextricably linked to a global network. Its a complex world where traditional moralistic standpoints and codes do not feature. Many decisions are Machiavellian and those involved have little recourse to conventional notions of justice. Its a ‘The left has been marginalized for good. It’s not our world any longer. For s brief moment, we held it in the palm of our hand. Then they snatched it away again...’ - Massimo Carlotto Fascinating exploration of the complex web of law and lawlessness in Italy inextricably linked to a global network. It’s a complex world where traditional moralistic standpoints and codes do not feature. Many decisions are Machiavellian and those involved have little recourse to conventional notions of justice. It’s a precarious existence and lines are blurred with no one really saintly

  2. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    At this time of the year for some reason, goodness knows what, I crave dark, violent, humorous escapism. I crave pulp, noir, hardboiled, I'll even happily take nasty. THE COLOMBIAN MULE delivered exactly what I was looking for. It doesn't hurt that this isn't a police procedural, a stereotypical lone wolf private detective or any of the expected scenarios as well. Instead we do have a PI, who works with a group of old friends, to solve problems. In this case, the problem is why one man seems to At this time of the year for some reason, goodness knows what, I crave dark, violent, humorous escapism. I crave pulp, noir, hardboiled, I'll even happily take nasty. THE COLOMBIAN MULE delivered exactly what I was looking for. It doesn't hurt that this isn't a police procedural, a stereotypical lone wolf private detective or any of the expected scenarios as well. Instead we do have a PI, who works with a group of old friends, to solve problems. In this case, the problem is why one man seems to have been set up to take the fall as the recipient of drugs smuggled in by a Columbian man who has a big reason to be worried about himself. What doesn't make sense is why he's seemingly identified the wrong man as his contact. Our hero, ex-con, former blues singer, fixer, secret bar owner and his intrepid team set out to work out what the real story is. The book is sparse, tight and beautifully balanced, with not an excess word in sight. Peopled with some very original characters, who slide and dodge their way through life, with every action, every act, tempered by the understanding of what doing time in jail will do to a man. http://www.austcrimefiction.org/revie...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Pluck

    Carlotto, imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit, creates a good series about a criminal fixer who helps falsely convicted criminals. This one was kind of low-key but interesting reading, if not very exciting. The translation is British-focused (informants are called "grass" and "supergrass"), and full of tropes (the killer gangster with a code; drug dealers are bad, thieves are "good" and have middle-class values, the crooks call a cop a "flatfoot" even though it's not 1940, etc.) Despite my Carlotto, imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit, creates a good series about a criminal fixer who helps falsely convicted criminals. This one was kind of low-key but interesting reading, if not very exciting. The translation is British-focused (informants are called "grass" and "supergrass"), and full of tropes (the killer gangster with a code; drug dealers are bad, thieves are "good" and have middle-class values, the crooks call a cop a "flatfoot" even though it's not 1940, etc.) Despite my criticism I finished the story because he writes well and knows his subject.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Charles

    This book was a big disappointment. After loving At aThe End of a Dull Day I expected much more. This book was clunky and awkward. The tropes were well worn ruts in that old mystery bypass of the detective/recovery specialist. I think the butler in this case is the translator, one Christopher Wodall. He did it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mikee

    An exciting fast-paced crime novel. A cocaine smuggler is caught and a semi-innocent man is on the hook. Our gang of criminals, working for money from the guys lawyer, tries to clear him while staying between the lines and out of prison. Complicated, but a real page-turner. An exciting fast-paced crime novel. A cocaine smuggler is caught and a semi-innocent man is on the hook. Our gang of criminals, working for money from the guy’s lawyer, tries to clear him while staying between the lines and out of prison. Complicated, but a real page-turner.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    AUTHOR Carlotto, Massimo TITLE The Columbian Mule DATE READ 06/12/2019 RATING 4.5/B+ FIRST SENTENCE Somehow the Columbian knew he was fucked the moment he met the cop's gaze. GENRE/ PUB DATE/PUBLISHER / # OF Crime Fic/2001/Orion/156 pgs SERIES/STAND-ALONE #4 The Alligator CHALLENGE Good Reads 2019 Reading Goal 98/111; GROUP READ CHARACTERS Arios Cueves -- the drug mule from Columbia; Alligator -- former blues singer, x-con and now a PI TIME/PLACE 2001/Venice COMMENTS 1st read by this author -- very AUTHOR Carlotto, Massimo TITLE The Columbian Mule DATE READ 06/12/2019 RATING 4.5/B+ FIRST SENTENCE Somehow the Columbian knew he was fucked the moment he met the cop's gaze. GENRE/ PUB DATE/PUBLISHER / # OF Crime Fic/2001/Orion/156 pgs SERIES/STAND-ALONE #4 The Alligator CHALLENGE Good Reads 2019 Reading Goal 98/111; GROUP READ CHARACTERS Arios Cueves -- the drug mule from Columbia; Alligator -- former blues singer, x-con and now a PI TIME/PLACE 2001/Venice COMMENTS 1st read by this author -- very good! Arios Cueves thinks he can steal drugs from his aunt & deliver to Italy for quick $. Meanwhile… the Alligator is defending the person the police believe Arios is delivering to.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    Been in a reading rut, as in nothing on my bookshelf looks interesting. Went to a bookstore, saw this, maybe reading a noir would help? Read it quickly I probably won't read others by this author. The Colombian Mule's most interesting feature is the insight into the rules and ethics of Italian criminals & the characters are built on people the author knows.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jack

    Different and engaging. If you are looking for something other than the usual fare then Carlotto is a writer to look out for. I had him recommended to me and this book didn't disappoint. The crime being investigated isn't centre-stage, instead the characters, Italy and its underworld are to the fore. Excellent.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rogue Reader

    Carlotto's signature, the Alligator's first person point of view makes this so real. The Colombian drug trade seeks territory in northern Italy through prostitution, violence and blackmail. Even more shocking is the female drug lord.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Steve Streeter

    A great start to a series I know I will enjoy

  11. 5 out of 5

    Donald Schopflocher

    Neat subversion of conventions even of noir: An ex-con acting as a PI in the service of other criminals, some of whom act honourably when cops do not. Plot was a bit pedestrian though.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Martin Stanley

    Massimo Carlotto's The Colombian Mule is one of a series of novels featuring a recurring character Marco 'The Alligator' Buratti, a PI who was once imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit, along with his accomplices Max The Memory and former Mafia heavy Beniamino Rossini. In this novel he is tasked with working for a man who has been fitted up in a sting involving a Colombian drug mule. His case isn't helped by the fact that he is already a fairly unrepentent criminal (who got away with the Massimo Carlotto's The Colombian Mule is one of a series of novels featuring a recurring character Marco 'The Alligator' Buratti, a PI who was once imprisoned for a crime he didn't commit, along with his accomplices Max The Memory and former Mafia heavy Beniamino Rossini. In this novel he is tasked with working for a man who has been fitted up in a sting involving a Colombian drug mule. His case isn't helped by the fact that he is already a fairly unrepentent criminal (who got away with the murders of two policemen) and that his only possible chance of release is for the mule to admit that the whole operation was a frame-up. As Buratti and his allies delve deeper into the case they find that the whole thing goes deeper than just a Colombian connection. They are soon involved in police corruption, designer drugs, double- and triple-crosses, and a system that is at best hopelessly inept and at worst hopelessly corrupt. I liked The Colombian Mule but felt somewhat underwhelmed in comparison with reviews that say: "Carlotto's taut, broody Mediterranean noir is filled with blind corners and savage set pieces". The set pieces are underwritten to the point where they are just basic descriptions of something that happened. There's little tension, nothing is drawn out to create suspense or thrills, and there's very little 'savagery'. Also, the detection mostly involves Rossini threatening people either by actual violence or by his reputation and some intelligence work by Max The Memory. Buratti himself is fairly benign, offering little more than musings about women and legendary consumption of Calvados (a beverage I'm now obssessed with trying at least once). Still, despite all these shortcomings, I found something likeable about the relationship of the three protagonists, and the downbeat ending has a decent wallop. Although I'll be happy to read another novel in this series (along with some of Carlotto's other work), I'll be in no particular rush to do it. Decent but not essential.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Maddy

    RATING: 4.25 He's an unlikely private detective. Formerly a blues singer, "Alligator" could easily be mistaken for one of the criminals that he is pursuing. He's in partnership with two other guys, Rossini and Max the Memory, who have rather dubious pasts themselves. But what is not in doubt is that they have the street smarts and skills to do whatever job needs to be done. Guillermo Arias Cuevas has made a big mistake. He's stolen 800 grams of cocaine from his aunt, "La Tia", and smuggled it from RATING: 4.25 He's an unlikely private detective. Formerly a blues singer, "Alligator" could easily be mistaken for one of the criminals that he is pursuing. He's in partnership with two other guys, Rossini and Max the Memory, who have rather dubious pasts themselves. But what is not in doubt is that they have the street smarts and skills to do whatever job needs to be done. Guillermo Arias Cuevas has made a big mistake. He's stolen 800 grams of cocaine from his aunt, "La Tia", and smuggled it from Colombia into Venice in his belly. The police think set up a sting and entrap an art smuggler named Nazzareno Corradi who they believe is Cuevas' drug smuggling contact. Alligator and Company are hired to establish Corradi's innocence. They use some rather unorthodox methods, committing crimes of their own in their pursuit of "justice". Rossini is an old style gangster who is always ready to step over the line. Max the Memory is a real loner, but he's the one who gathers information and comes up with the ideas that make things work for the group. THE COLOMBIAN MULE is the first of Carlotto's books to be translated into English. He's an excellent story teller, and the characters are a unique breed. No one will ever mistake Alligator for Marlowe. La Tia could more aptly be called La Morticia. Cuevas faces much more harm at her hands than he ever would from the police. I'm hoping that all 5 books of the Alligator series will be translated into English. The translator, Christopher Woodall, did a great job of capturing Carlotto's vision. Carlotto was framed for a murder he didn't commit and escaped to Latin America. He was finally arrested, tortured and pardoned in the early 1990s. His life experience has certainly colored the character of Alligator and allowed him to really capture the texture of the Italian justice and prison system. The moral ambiguity of the book makes it an intriguing read. What is one to think of "good guys" who blackmail, threaten and murder, whose investigations are basically illegal? Recommended.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Zuberino

    A huge disappointment. I don't know if it's mainly the translator's fault or if all of Carlotto's books are this bad. Heaven knows, he came highly rated as one of the founders of 'Mediterranean noir', alongside Jean-Claude Izzo. I've read Izzo - A Sun for the Dying was one of my discoveries of 2013. But, on the evidence of The Colombian Mule, Carlotto isn't worthy of tying Izzo's shoelaces. And yet, he's been published by Europa - this one as well as seven other titles! All the faults of the A huge disappointment. I don't know if it's mainly the translator's fault or if all of Carlotto's books are this bad. Heaven knows, he came highly rated as one of the founders of 'Mediterranean noir', alongside Jean-Claude Izzo. I've read Izzo - A Sun for the Dying was one of my discoveries of 2013. But, on the evidence of The Colombian Mule, Carlotto isn't worthy of tying Izzo's shoelaces. And yet, he's been published by Europa - this one as well as seven other titles! All the faults of the genre are here in concentrated form, with little in the way of suspense to compensate. The gumshoe hero is a guy named Marco Burratti, aka Alligator, one-time blues singer and jailbird, now a bar owner/private eye. His mission is to save a crook named Corradi who's been framed by the cops for alleged involvement in a coke smuggling operation. The stupid plot proceeds mainly through Alligator and his two sidekicks driving endlessly and tough-talking all over the towns and villages of northern Italy. A hackeneyed fellow is Alligator, all fags and booze and cynicism; there's even an aging barmaid lover to complete the tableau. The author's lame attempt at making him stand out is to give him a taste for Calvados, which is basically the only liquid that is ever allowed to pass through Alligator's lips. There's Calvados on every other page of this book. Apart from that, the characters are all cardboard, the dialogue wooden. Alligator and his pals communicate chiefly via the time-worn medium of clunky exposition. The leaden prose has no redeeming feature; it is insipid and utterly without distinction. The whole novel turns fast into a dreary exercise in cliche. I've never had to give a book two stars until now, but this one succeeds in breaking the duck. Next to Carlotto, Alan Furst looks like Shakespeare. Praise God, I'll never have to read him again.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Rosalind

    This is an interesting twist on the usual crime formula. Our intrepid investigators Alligator, Rossini and Fat Max are themselves ex-cons with a strong sense of honour amongst thieves who devote themselves to infiltrating organised crime syndicates to ensure justice for those used as expendable pawns in their game. There's nothing sentimental about them though, they think nothing of employing the tools of the gangster - blackmail, extortion and assassination - in pursuit of their goals. In this This is an interesting twist on the usual crime formula. Our intrepid investigators Alligator, Rossini and Fat Max are themselves ex-cons with a strong sense of honour amongst thieves who devote themselves to infiltrating organised crime syndicates to ensure justice for those used as expendable pawns in their game. There's nothing sentimental about them though, they think nothing of employing the tools of the gangster - blackmail, extortion and assassination - in pursuit of their goals. In this tale, the eponymous Colombian drug smuggler is caught while on a rogue mission and used to entrap Corradi, a one-time criminal now going straight, as part of a Special Branch operation to break the Venice cocaine trade. The police know Corradi's innocent, but there's an old score top settle and Corradi's going down anyway. Unless Alligator and chums have anything to do with it. Not a classic of the genre, but a thoroughly enjoyable romp in the Italian underworld. I'd like to read more from this author.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jackie

    Not having read so called 'Mediterranean Noir' before, I thought I'd give this a go, expecting a fictional gangster whodunnit. What I got was a slice of the Italian criminal underworld, based in fact and disguised as fiction - by the writers own admission in the Author's Note. Having said that, it isn't badly written. It's also a very good translation from the original Italian. So, if you can find sympathy for thieves, drug traffickers, pimps & murderers who think they are hard done by so far Not having read so called 'Mediterranean Noir' before, I thought I'd give this a go, expecting a fictional gangster whodunnit. What I got was a slice of the Italian criminal underworld, based in fact and disguised as fiction - by the writers own admission in the Author's Note. Having said that, it isn't badly written. It's also a very good translation from the original Italian. So, if you can find sympathy for thieves, drug traffickers, pimps & murderers who think they are hard done by so far as the Italian judicial system is concerned, fill your boots. I can't. My mistake for not recognising this for what it is.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Doyle

    Deceptively simple in style, this books cracks with attitude and many memorable characters. As much about life as any particular crime, it moves at a no-nonsense pace. A taste of the real Italy too, no doubt. File under "Crime on the Left" "It's on account of the investigations I do, the cases we work on together, the bits and pieces of truth we uncover, the little skirmishes we have with the corrupt and powerful. It's the engine that keeps both our lives going. It's what make sense of Deceptively simple in style, this books cracks with attitude and many memorable characters. As much about life as any particular crime, it moves at a no-nonsense pace. A taste of the real Italy too, no doubt. File under "Crime on the Left" "It's on account of the investigations I do, the cases we work on together, the bits and pieces of truth we uncover, the little skirmishes we have with the corrupt and powerful. It's the engine that keeps both our lives going. It's what make sense of everything."

  18. 4 out of 5

    MB Taylor

    No one in a Carlotto novel is a good guy; but some are less bad (or at least more sympathetic) than others. Towards the end of this book Buratti asks one of his partners: "Whose side are we on, Max?"; and Max replies "The side of the innocent." In this novel the innocent they are defending is a cop-killer who beat the rap and who is in jail awaiting trial for a crime he didn't commit. Max & Buratti (and possibly Carlotto) have a different definition of innocent than I do. But a fun read No one in a Carlotto novel is a good guy; but some are less bad (or at least more sympathetic) than others. Towards the end of this book Buratti asks one of his partners: "Whose side are we on, Max?"; and Max replies "The side of the innocent." In this novel the innocent they are defending is a cop-killer who beat the rap and who is in jail awaiting trial for a crime he didn't commit. Max & Buratti (and possibly Carlotto) have a different definition of innocent than I do. But a fun read nonetheless. I wish more of his books were available in English.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Johnny

    Solid crime novel and a European crime book that isn't a police procedural. In fact it's an Italian spin on classic pulp hardboiled stuff. The hero like the writer is an ex-convict, and he captures both the fears and paranoia that surround a life after incarceration. Fun and original characters and a pace that wastes no time. There is no fat on this book, and that is part of the pleasure of the read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Desiree

    Massimo Carlotto's genre can best be described as "Mediterranean Noir". His detective and his associates are all ex cons, don't shrink back from some unorthodox measures that are decidecly on the wrong side off the law and all three have their own favourite booze they which they drink in large quantities. I found the book amusing but without much depth or a a killer plot.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Stephen

    Columbian cocaine makers and Italian dealers, reformed bad guys, corrupt cops all working within the system or working outside the system in Massimmo Carlotto exciting adventure. Fast paced , almost too fast paced that you lose tract of who is who and who you are cheering for. Sort of a fun read but not my usual .

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dave Riley

    Enriched by a certain street wise noir and interesting because it generates it from an Northern Italian POV. But it's Raymond Chandler approach to life, love and mateship is a touch archaic I think. The connection the plot has to Italian Mafiosa makes it a touch exotic nonetheless and despite Carlotto background as a political dissident, there's very little politics here except as ambiance.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ed Mckeon

    I read the English translation of this short (approx 170 pp) book, and struggled to finish it. Something must be lost in the translation. Characters (too many cram the pages of this short crime novel) I don't care about solving a "crime" that will allow a murder to go free after being framed for a drub smuggling crime he didn't commit.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Nikmaack

    Probably the weakest of Carlotto's books I've read so far. The novel feels rushed, the plot is a little convoluted, and the action is minimal. Too bad. Still has an occasional juicy moment, but overall the book is flat. I was bored more than once. On the plus side, the author's incessant talk of the drink calvados inspired me to go out and buy a bottle. It was okay, but a new experience.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Markus Volk

    One of the books you can hardly stop until read through. Started it Saturday evening during a snow storm weekend and finished it Sunday. Not quite a good one for waiting for the plane, you might miss the flight while reading...

  26. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    Thought this book would be about Colombia - but it's about Colombian drug dealers and prostitutes in Italy. A fun read - with more info about drug dealing than I needed to know. As nasty in Italy as anywhere else.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    This insipid imitation of Raymond Chandler has a lame plot and cardboard characters. I wish I thought that the writer was making a joke about Italian criminals mimicking American gangsters, but unfortunately I don't think anything so subtle as that is going on here.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    I'm not a crime fiction fan, but there is something I love about Carlotto's books.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sohini

    Quick, enjoyable action/thriller.

  30. 4 out of 5

    James Tyrrell

    I got more out of it once I'd looked up the author on the World Wide Web.

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