Ferocity combines the suspense of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, the contemporary realism of Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, and the fierce Mediterranean vision displayed in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet. At once an intimate family saga and a cinematic portrait of the moral and political corruption of an entire society, Ferocity is an ambitious, gripping work by Italy’s foremost literary novelist.
Bari, the 1980s. On a stifling summer’s night, on the outskirts of a southern Italian metropolis, the young socialite Clara Salvemini stumbles naked, dazed, and bloodied down a major highway. Clara is the daughter of real estate mogul Vittorio Salvemini, patriarch of one of the region’s most prominent families. Her death is immediately labeled a suicide. Her estranged half-brother, however, cannot free himself from her memory or the questions surrounding her passing, and the more he learns about Clara’s life, the more he uncovers the moral decay at the core of the Salvemini ascent to social prominence.