Thursday, September 4, 2008

Blackout-Gianluca Morozzi

Gianluca Morozzi
Bitter Lemon, Oct 2008, $14.95
ISBN 9781904738329

Everyone who can is escaping the summer heat of Bologna, Italy for the long August Bank Holiday weekend. Three people ride an elevator in a high rise apartment building in a city increasingly turning into a stone quarry as it empties of people. However, the elevator gets stuck trapping the trio inside between the eleventh and twelfth floor. In a somber greenish light that makes the BLACKOUT seem even eerier, the alarm fails and so does their mobiles. The two males struggle, but manage to open the door only to find a solid wall blocking the opening.

There is no place to go except to wait for help or the elevator to suddenly work. Claudia works as an exotic dancer to pay her bills while going to school. Teenage Tomas is meeting his girlfriend Francesca in Amsterdam; as they have planned to elope. Aldo owns a club, believes music died when Elvis died, and finds passion as a serial killer. As the elevator’s heat rises to unbearable levels and increasingly hope for help coming soon diminishes to zero, the trapped threesome begin lose it as tempers ignite and sadistic interchanges occur.

Each of the trapped is a unique character with flaws that make them seen like real people spending unbearably heated time stuck in a closed environs with no hope for immediate rescue. The suspense grows as each becomes testier and angrier. Although an inane coda feels out of place and unnecessary, fans will enjoy this tense psychological suspense of three individuals sharing a horrific experience.
Harriet Klausner