Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Dark and comic, A Mistake Incomplete by Lorenzo Petruzziello is a suspenseful tale with a detached attitude and sharp humor. Stefano Orso realizes that his advancing age is pushing him out of the escort business. With no other marketable skills that he can leverage, he considers moving into theft as a new occupation that could give him a sustainable income. As the story opens, you find him in Berlin on an assignment to steal a wooden box for a man named Flavio. But in the risky, illegitimate business of stealing, you can expect things to go wrong, and Stefano ends up empty-handed. He returns to Milan, where he stumbles upon Beatrice, a woman with whom he once had a brief affair. They renew their acquaintance, and sparks fly between them once again. But the renewal of this affair will have tremendous consequences, and it has something to do with a dead body that suddenly reappears.
A Mistake Incomplete is a great suspense novel, but it is also a quirky romance story that gets more intense as Stefano and Beatrice work together despite their disagreements, trying to find their way out of a sticky predicament. What they do to get rid of the body is unethical, but they adopt an anything-goes attitude as the storyline dictates that nothing is going according to plan. Yet there is such a degree of absurdity in their situation that you can’t help but find Stefano and Beatrice likable because they disregard the after-effects of their actions and simply focus on the here and now. That makes you grin, anticipating what will happen next as a result. No matter how morbid things get, Lorenzo Petruzziello never loses the wit and humor of the tale. I feel an urge to read this book again, and while I’m at it, you should also give this story a try.