Set in icy cold winter in small communities flanking the flooding River Po, this police procedural introduced me to an unimagined Italy, without sun, old masters or vino. But with a sympathetic policeman, who is stereotypically Italian enough to be interested in food and sex, and capable of solving very strange crimes. Definitely one for fans of Eurocrime with a difference.
... he imagined that flight, in the evening, on a river in spate, between embankments which had suddenly shrunk for someone looking at them from midstream. He thought of one, solitary, single-minded man clambering up, sliding about in the mud as he attempted to reach safety, wading to his knees in filth, soaked through like marsh life, hoping to reach a friendly house as the veterans had done of old and to find people speaking the dialects of the PO.