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Chapter 1. Detective Dreams
He opened the door, trying not to make any noise. Inside it was dark and there was a strong smell of whisky.
He heard a tapping coming from one of the rooms, like the sound of a fly hitting a window. Taking careful steps, he moved silently along the corridor. Pulling out his pistol with his right hand he held it stretched out in front of him…
“How on earth do people write this rubbish!”
Gianna Marpelli has both elbows on her kitchen table and is holding her head in her hands, disheartened. She really doesn’t like the new novel that she is translating. On the contrary, she finds it banal, and full of inaccuracies!
“A police inspector, with twenty years’ experience, who holds a gun out in front of him?” thinks Gianna, as she goes into the kitchen to make a cup of tea.
“Even kids know that that’s how you get disarmed. What an amateur!”
Gianna has been a translator for many years. She works for a publishing house that specialises in detective stories, both re-releases of old classics and new work by young authors.
She’s become a real ‘whodunnit’ expert , so much so that she can work out the endings straightaway and spot even the smallest inaccuracy. Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Nero Wolfe and Gideon Fell have always been her heroes. Although she’s nearly forty years old, she often daydreams of becoming a detective and solving impossible cases with her infallible intuition.
However, over the years she’s had to resign herself to staying shut away at home, translating terrible novels by inexperienced authors who write unoriginal stories full of truly ridiculous characters. Her career frustrates her.
“Hello, darling,” her husband Eugenio greets her, entering the house.
Gianna gives him a kiss and continues to silently stir her cup of tea.
“Well? Have they shot that idiot inspector yet?” he jokes, trying to cheer her up.
“If only!” she sighs. “I’m just halfway through the book and unfortunately I don’t think he’s going to end up dying… What about you? Was everything OK at work? Did you sell any paintings?”
Eugenio Della Lampada comes from a nobel family of rich art collectors, and so has a small but important contemporary art gallery in the centre of the city.
He is a tall man with grey hair, just turned fifty years of age.
“Next Thursday it’s your birthday. Have you thought about what you’d like to do, yet?” he asks his wife with a big smile.
“No,” she replies, going reluctantly back to her computer. “I don’t know if I really feel like celebrating.”
Eugenio realises that Gianna is feeling down. Leaving her to work, he goes into the bedroom and closes the door. Picking up his smartphone, he clicks on a contact.
“Hi, it’s me. I don’t have much time to talk, my wife might come in at any moment…”
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