The German Client


Author: Bruno Morchio

First English Edition



Available at Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Amazon and wherever books are sold.


Five weeks on the Corriere della Sera Best Seller List.

Winner of the Azzeccagarbugli Prize for Best Mystery 

Private investigator Bacci Pagano can’t resist taking the bait when his new client dangles a check with too many zeros. He should have known that where there’s bait, there’s always a hook.

In a hospital corridor, private investigator Bacci Pagano is keeping watch over Jasmìne Kilamba. If she lives, her testimony will shatter a  notorious human trafficking ring. Seemingly out of nowhere, he is approached by an elderly German named Kurt Hessen who is searching for his Italian half-brother. Despite his better judgment, Pagano accepts the job.  So many things, good and evil, happened when the Nazis occupied Genoa in 1944, what did it matter now? But it matters very much to someone and Pagano finds himself plunged into a world of old secrets and new lies where the bill for the sins of the past has come due . . . with interest.

Originally published in Italian as Rossoamaro, The German Client elegantly intertwines a wartime thriller about Nazi-occupied Genoa with the gritty realism of Pagano’s current investigation in what La Repubblica called “a masterful tale.”

Praise for The German Client

“The novel smoothly transitions between events that occurred in 1944 and those in the present day, providing readers with a sobering view of the dangers faced by members of the Italian Resistance movement as well as giving a visceral feel of Italy then and now. Morchio skillfully unfurls a poignant story of survival and betrayal.” Publishers Weekly

“For mystery fans, Bacci Pagano is one of Italy’s most beloved characters.” Vanity Fair

“In the able intertwining of the past and present, historical events in Nazi occupied Italy come to life . . . The ultimate truth, revealed in the very last pages, will stun the reader.”  L’Indice

“Bacci Pagano is a fixture in the Italian imagination. One grows fond of Bacci. After reading a few of these novels, you find you can no longer do without him.”  Il Secolo XIX

“The plot, the twists, the suspense, the emotions and, above all, the grand finale work together to make this the best novel Morchio has written so far.” Il Giornale di Brescia

“Bacci Pagano, the noir detective with the heart of gold, always fighting for the underdog.” Il Secolo XIX

“A masterful tale.” La Repubblica

“Morchio interweaves the novel’s two temporal planes with great narrative mastery. You can taste the places and feel the drama and the emotions.” Bresciaoggi

“This is the beauty and the distinctive trait of Italian noir. There is more than just crime: history, politics, society, love, friendship.” Telegraph Avenue