I left this book in Luxembourg, so was just wondering how to write up a blog post on it when I can't type up any extracts. I googled without much hope and was surprised to find that the New York Times and I are almost entirely in agreement, down to the sections they quote. This book, marketed as a mix of Franzen and Ferrante is in fact a bog-standard thriller with ideas about women that are lame even by this genre's low standards of gender equity. Take it away, NYT:
“Ferocity,” . . . begins with a woman, “naked, and ashen, and covered in blood,” stumbling down a highway in the middle of the night. Her toenails are painted with red polish and the bruises on her ribs stand out like ink stains against her paper-white skin. The woman — her name is Clara Salvemini — is the glamorous, good-hearted, and mysteriously self-destructive daughter of a Pugliese construction baron, but her biographical details are the least important thing about her. This is how you introduce an archetype, not a character. . .. . After this opening scene, it is possible to predict the remainder of the novel’s plot with a reasonable degree of accuracy. Readers will not be surprised to learn that Clara was involved in an illicit underworld of drugs and sex or that the investigation into her death uncovers a tangled conspiracy that implicates her town’s most respected citizens.