|About the Book|
A HOUSE IN NAPLES. (1956). Peter Rabe. ***.We meet Charley as he is dragging his way into the house he shares with his partner in crime, Joe Lenken. Charlie has just fled from a violent encounter with opposing hoods and has been shot in the leg. Charley and Joe together run a black market operation out of their house in Naples. They are both wanted by the U.S. Army for desertion during the war, but have successfully eluded identification and capture thus far. Charley’s status, however, has now changed. He has to worry about being investigated by the authorities if his situation is discovered. He never bothered to develop an alternate identity for himself. Joe, on the other hand, has acquired Italian citizenship, along with a passport, a drivers’ license and suitable working papers. He’s covered. Charley goes to his underground contacts to get the paperwork ball rolling, but learns that it all takes time. Time is what Charley has little of- he becomes desperate. He cultivates a drunk in a bar, and gets him to drink beyond his ability to cope with it. When the drunk dies, Charlie extracts his passport and plans to have it altered to be his own. Charley has to get rid of the body, however, before the police discover it. As he was in the process of moving it so he could dump it in the river, he realizes that he is being watched by a young woman. Now what? Although the plot is pretty thin on the ground, Rabe still manages to keep the reader guessing about the next move.