ImageTitle : The Salati Case

Author : Tobias Jones

ISBN-10 : 0571245862

ISBN-13 : 978-0571245864

Paperback :  272 pages

The Plot :

‘The Salati Case’ by Tobias Jones is the story of Castagnetti, a private investigator in Italy. He is hired to look into a very old case, about a man who was reported missing more than a decade ago. He is hired to look for Riccardo Salati, who was reported missing in 1995. His mother, the recently deceased Sylvia Salati has a condition in her will that states that her entire estate should be distributed amongst her living heirs. To be able to dispose of her estate, the executor of her will hires Castagnetti, to confirm the legal status of Riccardo.

From the very beginning the case seems to be a difficult one mainly because it dealt with an incident that happened more than a decade in the past. Most people involved were hazy on all the details. Since his disappearance there were no sightings reported of Riccardo and people presumed him dead, but presumption would not do for Castagnetti. At the start of his investigation he finds an obituary to Sylvia Salati in the newspaper under Riccardo’s name.

Unsure if he was still alive or if it was a prank someone was playing, Castagnetti starts on the trail of Riccardo. He starts by collecting all the background information that he could collect on Riccardo, things like he was last seen waiting for a train to Rimini in 1995. He was married with a baby daughter. He had a brother. He was also a huge gambler and owed a lot of money to a lot of people. It was also common behaviour to go missing for short periods of time.

Castagnetti interviews everyone he can find and starts putting together a case. With the help of a cop who helps him out from time to time with some bits of information and other characters he starts uncovering a lot of secrets. He soon learns that tere were a lot of people who had good reasons to get rid of Riccardo. One of the prime suspects is his brother, Umberto Salati, but he is soon found dead below his apartment. The initial thought is that he committed suicide but soon it is uncovered that it was murder. With one murder and a missing person’s case on his hand Castagnetti is in a race against time to quickly find out what happened to Riccardo and if it was related to his brothers murder.

The plot is full of twists and turns and scenes are vividly set in a gloomy town in Italy. One thing I loved is the metaphors and analogies used by the lead character. It is a slow book overall but the story is interesting. It is a good read if you don’t mind a slowly progressing story.  


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