Valerio Varesi was born in Turin on August 8, 1959, from parmesan parents. He graduated in philosophy with a thesis on Soren Kierkegaard. He became journalist in 1985 and cooperated with many newspapers. He is currently working for La Repubblica, in the editorial staff of Bologna. His first book, “Ultime notizie di una fuga” dates back from 1998. He is the author of 15 crime fictions starring Soneri as their main character. The polar “River of shadows” was nominated for the prestigious italian price “Strega” and also for the Gold Dagger award in Britain. The investigations of Commissario Soneri, parmesan cuisine lover, are translated into 8 languages. Four of his novels, including “River of shadows”, have been played in the italian tv series “Nebbie e delitti”. Eclectic author, Varesi also wrote historical-political novels collected in the volume “Trilogia di una Repubblica”. His work is also translated in U.K, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Turkey, Poland and Romania. In England his books are published by Quercus editor.

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Italy’s Maigret returns in another smouldering noir from a master of the police procedural

“A master storyteller” Barry Forshaw, Independent

Parma is blanketed in snow, but this pristine, white veneer cannot mask the stench of corruption. Its officials are no longer working for its people – only for themselves – crime is out of control and resentment festers in every district. Commissario Soneri remains at heart an idealist, so the state of Parma wounds him more than most. And now he is presented with three mysteries at once, each more impenetrable than the last. In a river creek on the outskirts of the city, tipped off by a local, he finds a mobile phone that rings through the night but holds no data; an elderly patient with senile dementia is reported missing from a hospice; and the mayor of Parma, who was reported as taking a holiday on the ski slopes, has disappeared off the face of the earth – just when he seemed certain to be implicated in a seismic corruption scandal at city hall.


Valerio Varesi won several prizes in the domain of noir narrative, both in Italy and France. His last prize was awarded by “Association 813” and it was reserved to the best 2019 “polar” translation for “Les ombres de Montelupo”. Other awards include:

  • “Fedeli”, awarded by Siulp, the police union of Bologna,
  • “Romiti”, included in literary review of Viterbo “Ombre festival”,
  • “Scerbanenco” award on the day of the centenary of the famous Milanese author’s birth,
  • “Lama e Trama” in Maniago with the great Luigi Bernardi as president,
  • “Serravalle noir” and recently the “Erice” award in Sicilian homonymous town,
  • Abroad, in “Toulouse polar du sud” festival, Varesi won “Violeta negra”,
  • Finally, as already mentioned, the recognition for the best 2019 noir translation with “Le ombre di Montelupo” (edited by Sarah Amrani) by the prestigious “Association 813”, which include as members French critics, journalists and publishers.

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