Carlo Lucarelli

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Carlo Lucarelli at the Italian Lucca Comics & Games - Convention (2008)

Carlo Lucarelli (born October 26, 1960 in Parma , Italy ) is an Italian writer . In addition to his writing activities, Lucarelli is known as a journalist, screenwriter, television presenter and also as a director.


Carlo Lucarelli was born in 1960 in Parma, Italy, the son of a doctor. Today he lives in Mordano near Bologna . Carlo was interested in theater and literature from an early age. Dark scenes and crime stories like Edgar Allan Poe's fascinated him. As a teenager he started to write, which not only earned him good grades in Italian at school, but also presumably determined his further career with studying literature and history.

While he was still studying, which Lucarelli was pushing forward at a not exaggerated pace, he came into contact with the material for his first two novels, which are set in the era of fascism and in the post-war period, while doing research for his thesis . Both novels quickly made Lucarelli famous, and it was only a matter of time before the long-term student gave up his academic endeavors to pursue a career as a writer and a thousand other activities.

Lucarelli wrote plays, comics, radio plays and is a sought-after screenwriter. He is also known as the presenter of television programs on criminal cases ( Blu notte misteri d'Italia ). As a journalist, he worked for several Italian newspapers and magazines such as Il Manifesto , Il Messaggero and L'Europeo . He has also written over twenty novels, non-fiction books and short stories.

Together with Marcello Fois and Loriano Macchiavelli , he founded " Gruppe 13 ", a production cooperative of crime writers from the Emilia-Romagna region . Lucarelli is also responsible for the literature eZine “Incubatoio 16”. When the enthusiastic hobby cook has time in addition to his other activities such as teaching creative writing and chatting with his fans on Sunday evenings, he sings (miserable, as he himself says) in the post-punk band “Progetto K”.

The novels

In contrast to many other authors who remain loyal to their series heroes and give them one adventure after another over many years, Lucarelli remains true to himself in his urge for versatility and dedicates his novels to several, highly different characters in three alternating crime series.

Lucarelli let his first character, Comissario De Luca , be determined doggedly and tormented by sleep and eating disorders during fascism and the post-war period up to the early 1950s, whereby the novels convey a lot of the history, politics and atmosphere of this time. De Luca's own dark political past, the ambitions of his corrupt superiors and the ambiguous morals of that time make it difficult for De Luca to deal with his investigations in and around Bologna. The character plays the leading role in Free Hand for De Luca , The Cloudy Summer and The Red Sunday .

Lucarelli casts the clumsy loser Sovrintendente Coliandro , who would like to be like Clint Eastwood with hearty language and macho behavior , and who, against all odds , always succeeds in closing his cases, in a very contradicting series, because it is extremely funny and fast-paced but again located in Bologna solve, which is of little use to him in his career, just as little as it is with women. The slightly anarchic bicycle courier Nikita appears in a constant supporting role in this series and both consist of many bizarre and ludicrous scenes - in which the blood is allowed to flow freely. This series includes the novels Nikita , Guardian Angel and the as yet untranslated Falange armata and Coliandro .

And finally Ispettore Grazia Negro , transferred from Apulia to Bologna and thus directly disadvantaged on two fronts - as a woman in a male domain and as a southern Italian - who nevertheless fights bravely and brilliantly when it comes to hunt down psychopathic murderers. She plays the leading role in Lupo Mannaro (not yet translated), The Green Iguana , The Fighting Dog and the Beast .

In addition to these three mini-series, there are several no less exciting individual works that take up very different topics such as the Chinese and Russian mafia, drug trafficking, literary studies, fascism and the fight of the international brigades against the fascists in Spain and much more. Somewhat out of line is the comical Autostrada work , which deals with the Italians' favorite child, the car in a traffic jam.

With L'ottava vibrazione (2008), Lucarelli turned to a historical epoch that has so far been surprisingly ignored in Italian literature: the colonial history of Italy. The novel paints a broad-based picture of social life in the Italian colony of Eritrea in the spring of 1896. Lucarelli describes the diverse interests of politics, investors, the military and the locals in an exciting network of stories. At the end of the novel, the Italians face their devastating defeat at the Battle of Adua . In 2014 Lucarelli followed up with a second novel from this phase. In addition to the carefully researched and differentiated company portrait, Albergo Italia focuses on a crime thriller. Capitano Colaprico, a royal carabiniere , and his local auxiliary policeman uncover grievances that clearly refer to the Italian present. (The book was published on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the founding of the proud police force of the Carabinieri .)

Works (selection)

Novels and short stories

  • 1993 Indagine non autorizzata
  • 1994 Pioneering the pilota di uno zero
  • 1994 Amore malato
  • 1996 Guede
  • 1996 Guernica
  • 1997 Febbre gialla
    • Shots from the Walkman, German by Ulrike Schimming; Arena, Würzburg 2000. ISBN 3-401-05004-4
    • also as: Mafia alla Chinese, same translation; Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 2004. ISBN 3-596-80458-2
  • 1998 Autosole ( short stories)
  • 1998 Il trillo del diavolo
  • 1999 L'isola dell'angelo caduto
  • 1999 Nikita
  • 2000 Sembra facile dire tortellino
  • 2001 Laura di Rimini
  • 2003 Il lato sinistro del cuore ( short stories)
  • 2007 Tenco a tempo di tango
  • 2008 L'ottava vibrazione
  • 2014 Albergo Italia
  • 2014 A Girl Like You ( short story, in Giochi criminali . Einaudi, Turin 2014. ISBN 978-8-806-21951-2 )

The Commissario De Luca series

The Ispettore Coliandro range

  • 1993 Falange armata
  • 1994 Coliandro (story illustrated by Onofrio Catacchio)
  • 1994 Il giorno del lupo
  • 2009 L'ispettore Coliandro ( short story)

The Ispettore Grazia Negro range


  • 2008 Cornelio - Delitti d'autore (together with Mauro Smocovich and Giuseppe Di Bernardo)
  • 2009 Protocollo (illustrated by Marco Bolognesi)

Film adaptations

In 2006, Rai broadcast 4 TV episodes with "L'ispettore Coliandro". The miniseries is a Rai Fiction production, realized by Tommaso Dazzi, Nauta Film. The direction was the Manetti Bros. The likeable loser Coliandro was played by the young actor Giampaolo Morelli. The cast of the female lead changed in every episode: Nicole Grimaudo, Cecilia Dazzi, Jocelyn Parry Iean and Youma Diakite were the actresses.

  • Il giorno del lupo (August 24, 2006)
  • Vendetta cinese (August 29, 2006)
  • In trappola (August 31, 2006)
  • Magia nera (September 5, 2006)


Web links

German-language sources:

Mainly in Italian:

Literature on Carlo Lucarelli

  • Stephanie New: Carlo Lucarelli: Colors of the detective novel: giallo, nero, blu . Frankfurt am Main Lang, 2005. ISBN 978-3-631-54806-6 (Master's thesis, 2004)

Individual evidence

  1. a b c L'ottava vibrazione. Review (in German) at books reviews. February 25, 2011, accessed May 22, 2015 .
  2. a b c Albergo Italia. Review (in German) at books reviews. July 23, 2014, accessed May 22, 2015 .