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The Transaction

The Transaction

By Guglielmo D'Izzia

International Book Awards Finalist

A property harbouring a gruesome secret goes up for sale. Two men —perhaps, the wrong men —are shot in plain daylight. Nothing is what it seems. And matters do not turn out as anticipated. De Angelis, an inscrutable northerner, is travelling to a small town perched somewhere in Sicily's hinterland to negotiate a real estate transaction, only to find himself embroiled in a criminal conspiracy. While en route, the train he's on mysteriously breaks down, forcing him to spend the night in a squalid whistle stop. What follows is a web of unsettling events, involving child prostitution and brazen killings, that lead to the abrupt demise of his business deal. But De Angelis is undeterred and intent on discovering what went wrong with his transaction. As he embarks on a reckless sleuthing, an unexpected turn of events sends him into a tailspin. At the heart of it is an alluring blue-eyed girl, Marinella. The chance encounter with the eleven-year-old traps him in a psychological and moral cul-de-sac, leaving him no choice but to confront the type of man he really is. 


Guernica Editions (Essential Prose Series)


236 pages |

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Mysterious, stark and cinematic, Guglielmo D’Izzia’s debut novel The Transaction takes the reader on an array of escalating and disturbing encounters. Perception is everything in the Sicilian town of Figallia where an out-of-town businessman from ‘the north’ becomes immersed in small-town life and its history of menace. Rife with dark undercurrents like a Giorgio de Chirico painting, the surface is not what it seems. Eerily detailed and atmospheric, this tightly controlled narrative brims with tension. 

Catherine Graham

The lightness of those steps paired with the darkness of the conversation shows D'Izzia's capacity for black humour at its finest. Under the brutal brightness of D’Izzia’s Sicilian sun, we’re forced to confront the most uncomfortable and grotesque taboos. What’s more, we, like De Angelis, are forced to confront our complicity in their continued existence. 

Hollay Ghadery

The novel reads like an instant classic, at first conjuring Hemingway’s simple, modern prose, but then revealing something sinister and surreal that would be more at home in Kafka’s wild imagination.

Prairie Fire

D’Izzia has a pristine voice for the off-kilter while grounded in European Modernism. A love song to Kafkalike absurdism reminiscent of a Sicilian Camus. The prose, the sweltering heat, each minor character who brushes against De Angelis’ fumbling is executed to perfection ... [It] takes a talented novelist to produce something with such texture and reality. ... The Transaction is a masterful work of realism, absurdist rationale, and discomfort …

Lis Goryniuk-Ratajczak

The Transaction is a smart book. One that knows exactly what it is and what it’s trying to say ... It’s a cerebral pleasure more than it is a visceral one ... I liked it because it explored the idea of the disappearance of the self, which I’m really interested in, and it does it in a subtle way [that] doesn’t call too much attention to itself. 

Benoit Lelievre


Marina Nemat Award

Crime Writers of Canada Awards of Excellence Best Crime First Fiction

Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards (Mystery Category) Finalist

International Book Awards (Literary Fiction Category) Finalist

The Miramichi Reader’s “The Very Best!” Book Awards (Most Promising Author)

Eric Hoffer Awards Grand Prize

AICW Bressani Literary Prize

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