Sincere and a bit clumsy in her young age. Naive but assisted by passion in the race against the edges of life, from which a woman will emerge. Then, a great love: forensic medicine. And an innate talent of a “casual detective”.
Ten years ago, readers first met Alice Allevi, protagonist of the series of novels (to date eight) written by Alessia Gazzola (1982) from Messina: a narration between the pink comedy and the yellow, which has given rise to an editorial case, translated in many countries, including Germany, Japan, Turkey. And a successful TV series broadcast by Rai. Now, ten years after the birth of The pupil – the first title of the series – is on newsstands with the «Corriere» and with «Oggi» (in collaboration with Longanesi) a series that collects all the titles starring Alice Allevi.
“They are novels for very tolerant crime writers, Why The pupil it’s not a yellow short, nor a noir – Gazzola explains to the “Corriere”. – Here there is also the emotional universe of my protagonist, the sentimental relationships, the friendships, the relationship with the grandmother … In addition to the investigation, there is her whole emotional world ». Novels that oscillate between genre comic literature, the so-called chick lit (“With the difference that Alice does not do a glamorous job, but a macabre one”) and murders to solve.
And with The pupil that Gazzola made his debut in fiction, in 2011, which will be followed by seven other novels (the series is not yet finished; the last title, The gentleman thief, won the Bancarella 2019 award). The story traces the events of a forensic specialist struggling with work and love dramas. In her growth path (in the last two books she is a full-fledged coroner), Alice runs into murders, which she will find herself investigating.
“In these ten years I have changed a lot – says Gazzola in this journey backwards -. The pupil was born as a game, without editorial strategy, but for a personal pleasure ». And success comes quickly: «I consider myself a miracle; even if I pay the price now, because at the beginning it was a game without strategies, now I have a greater awareness as a writer. A bit like Alice, these were crucial years for me too: I had two daughters, I moved to Verona, I also specialized in forensic medicine ». A profession that Gazzola has abandoned since 2017 to devote himself full time to writing: «Forensic medicine, like any branch of medicine, does not accept being overshadowed, it requires constant updating and practice. It had become challenging to do both. Sure, I miss it; but life changes continuously … ».
This is how Gazzola’s experience enters his stories, in an intertwining sewn between reality, inspiration, fiction: «I have never been inspired by news cases, but I have always tried to draw on my imagination. Something obviously came from my work as a doctor. For example, in Pending heart syndrome I write about illegally rented uteri, and we had tangentially dealt with this in my institution. Or in A secret isn’t forever I tell a sudden death due to a particular type of heart disease; and we had talked about this too for a long time. Input that I have transformed into a plot of my own ».
Alice has also changed, she is not static: «Her life is evolving and I photograph her in that crucial phase from student to professional, who has to learn how to do it herself ». The first of a series of female characters scattered throughout the narrative world of the author, who narrates young contemporary women, real in their insecurities but determined in facing present of uncertainty: “Alice is a girl in the metropolis, who throws herself to meet the life unconsciously, and pays the consequences. She is a courageous, modern woman ».
There are two titles to which Gazzola is most linked:A secret isn’t forever e Arabesque: «The first because it is a literary mystery that revolves around a writer; the second for the setting in the classical world and for the turn that Alice’s life takes ». Always different plots, which always maintain that light atmosphere typical of the author’s thrillers. Who, on his way of working, says: «I tell the story along the way, not at the table. I am inspired by the writing lessons of Hemingway who said to stop before running out of well. And I work three chapters in three chapters: I let the writing “undergo”, then I continue ».
The TV series also contributed to the success of the novelsThe pupil with Alessandra Mastronardi (Alice) and Lino Guanciale (Claudio Conforti): «A perfect cast. I loved the first season very much, then the series took its own path, as a different medium it found its own expressive code. But this was an enrichment ».
After a break from the series – during which Gazzola dedicated herself to a new trilogy starring Costanza Macallè, single mother and pathologist -, the author announces that Alice could return: «I always thought that I would take back her world only if a good story came. Now I’m working on it; I hope it can arrive by the end of the year ».
The series on newsstands: eight novels, in collaboration with Longanesi.
On newsstands with the «Corriere» and with the weekly «Oggi», the series of detective stories by Alessia Gazzola (Messina, 1982) starring Alice Allevi. The series (the price of each volume is € 7.90 in addition to the cost of the newspaper or magazine), created in collaboration with Longanesi, collects the eight novels that tell the (mis) adventures of Alice, first specializing in forensic medicine, then followed in his path of personal and work growth. A collection in which tormented loves, investigation and the difficulties of the life of a young doctor who also finds himself in the role of detective are intertwined. In the first volume, now on newsstands, The pupil (released in 2011), we meet the protagonist struggling with the difficulties to overcome the year of specialization at the Institute of Forensic Medicine. But, one day, a murder catches her attention, because Alice met the victim the day before he died: a girl of the Roman bourgeoisie with problems, apparently, of drug addiction. Thursday 18 February will be the turn of the second title of the series: A secret isn’t forever. The fiction was taken from Gazzola’s bestsellers The pupil, until the third season (broadcast on Raiuno in 2020) with Alessandra Mastronardi in the role of Alice and Lino Guanciale. The screenplay is written in collaboration with Alessia Gazzola..
February 15, 2021 (change February 16, 2021 | 11:43)