Born in Venice. Graduated in philosophy from the University of Padua. Teacher, first of
philosophy, then of Italian. Currently retired. Still resides in Venice, but lives between
Venice and Padua.
He has published the novels “The Guardians of the Lagoon” (2021) and “The Reasons for the Shadow” (2022) for Tre60.
Le ragioni dell’ombra
Venice, 1753. In a cold spring, a series of murders and disappearances strikes important members of the Venetian nobility. The story immediately takes on the features of a great international plot to strike at the heart of the Serenissima. Marco Leon, secret agent of the State Inquisition, is called to investigate, but the stakes are very high: the new magistrates of the Inquisition are in fact determined to disband the Black Angels, the body of secret agents who have always supported him in his investigations. When the inquisitor most determined to eliminate the Angels, the nobleman Biagio Donà, suffers an attack, Leon and his men try to shed light on the facts that are throwing the nobility of the lagoon into panic. This time the Angels will also have to fight for their existence. But who is behind this chain of crimes? Who could have an interest in undermining the foundations of the Republic? Is it a plot against the patriciate or is it just what they want us to believe? And again, what role does the past play in all this? Amidst disappearances and intrigue, vendettas and interrogations, Paolo Lanzotti takes us back through the canals of the Serenissima in this new, overwhelming Venetian investigation.
I guardiani della laguna
During the carnival, Marco Leon, a secret agent and member of the State Inquisition, investigates a double homicide committed inside the Sant’Angelo theatre during a performance of The Mistress of the Inn by Carlo Goldoni. The two victims (a young patrician, Giovanni Coredo, and a second-rate actor, Bernardo Flamini) would appear to have nothing in common with one another. While within theatre circles, many had a reason to hold a grudge against Flamini, it’s harder to find a motive behind the death of Coredo. Is this double murder nothing but a coincidence? As the investigation proceeds, among secret informants scattered around the city, interrogations, gondola chases and ambushes, events start to take on ever more complex and dangerous connotations.
Soon, what at first had appeared to be an open-and-shut murder case turns into a matter of major international intrigue…
Amid narrow streets and canals, masked figures and the occasional dip into the local vernacular, Paolo Lanzotti skilfully manages to immerse the reader in the atmosphere of the most fascinating city in the world at a time when it was still known as the Repubblica Serenissima (‘Most Serene Republic of Venice’), captured here in its heyday.
They called him the Lion of Venice. He was the finest secret agent in the Serenissima. And yet, officially, he did not exist. Leon was not his real name but more of a label, behind which lay an identity and a past to be forgotten. A precarious marriage which had come to a tragic end. The loss of a noble title. Marco Leon had had to start over from scratch. His peculiar blend of intelligence, pride and moral integrity embodied the glorious past of the Republic. But now the Venetians preferred to intoxicate themselves with frivolities rather than react to the impending decline. Most Venetians that is. But not the Lion.
A historical novel that will win the hearts of the readers of Matteo Strukul.