David Downie Discusses “Red Riviera” with Don George
A discussion about Italy, globetrotting, and crime from two of travel writing's greatest minds.
Its jaws open wide, a firefighting seaplane skims the glittering Gulf of Portofino on Italy’s jagged Ligurian coast, scooping up seawater, unlucky anchovies and a lone swimmer named Joe Gary. The superrich, retired Italian-American spook has mob connections and a dirty political past. Has he been snatched by accident or murdered?
Red Riviera is Commissioner Daria Vinci’s first investigation, a wild roller-coaster ride from the tangled trails of the Cinque Terre to glamorous Portofino and roughneck, roistering Genoa. It’s a Riviera made red by riotous bougainvillea—and the blood spilling from bags stuffed with butchered bodies.
Half-American, Daria Vinci is an outsider, the unlikely rising star of Genoa’s secretive Special Operations Directorate DIGOS. In Red Riviera, she must face down a Fascist police chief and fanatical coup-plotter, the CIA’s creepy local mastermind, a former World War Two Spitfire fighter pilot, and a plucky hundred-year-old marquise whose memory is as long as it is vengeful. If you like Aurelio Zen, Aimee Leduc, and Inspector Brunetti, you won’t be able to put down this captivating first adventure of Commissioner Daria Vinci.
In this new interview conducted by Leslie Pietrzyk, David Downie details the creation of Red Riviera and Daria Vinci, offers up some writing advice, and gives a recipe for Daria’s favorite food, Classic Ligurian olive oil focaccia.
Dave Housley’s brilliant, darkly comic novel The Other Ones will be released January 18, 2022. Saida Agostini’s first full-length poetry collection, the stunning let the dead in, launches on March 26, 2022. Both are available for preorder now wherever books are sold.