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Springtime proffers fragrant temptations to the men and women of Naples. But evil also lurks in the sweet-smelling spring air. It is one week before Easter, Naples, 1932. At the high-class brothel in the center of town known as Paradiso, Viper, the most famous prostitute of all, is found dead. Suffocated with a pillow. Her last client swears that when he left her she was alive and well. But when her next client arrived, he found her dead. Who killed her and why? Ricciardi has to untangle a complex knot of greed, frustration, jealousy and rancor in order to solve the riddle of Viper’s death. As he does so, he will discover no end of conflicting emotions just beneath the surface of a city that lives on passion.
De Giovanni’s mysteries unfold with such sinuous ease that they seem to write themselves. They enchant, surprise; they hold readers enthralled. Commissario Ricciardi, whose dubious gift of being able to see and hear the last seconds in the lives of those who have suffered a violent death, is one of the most fascinating investigators to make his appearance in the world of international crime fiction in recent years. And in Vipers, the lustful and boisterous city of Naples has never been more seductive.