Rome. When Chief Inspector Blume arrives at the scene of a brutal killing, he finds enquiries well underway, the case itself apparently clear-cut, and a prime suspect identified. But when worrying shortcuts sanctioned by one of his superiors are uncovered, it seems events are being manipulated from on high. The complex truth Blume will unravel will shock even him, and his struggle for justice may yet cost more innocent lives....
©2010 Conor Fitzgerald (P)2010 WF Howes Ltd
Another great thriller novel based in contemporary Rome read by Saul Reichlin. It is perhaps unfair to comment that this is very similar to the David Hewson's Rome series, but those of you who enjoyed Saul Reichlin's narration on that series I am sure will also enjoy this story too, and the fact that it is solidly based in Rome. The main character is Chief Inspector Blume, who has to solve some brutal murders, and the links behind them. He has an unusual upbringing because of the death of his parents when just an adolescent, and is an outsider in Rome, but has a steadfast moral compass, and the intellect to see him through the organised crime, and the all pervading effects it and politics has on criminal investigations in Rome. I am surprized by the previous low rating. Personally I couldn't find enough time to have the indulgent pleasure of letting the story unfold. Chief Inspector Blume is a strong, quirky character, that I would love to hear more of, especially when read by Saul Reichlin!
Chose this from other reviews, all of which were good and I wasn't disappointed. It was a good story with likeable characters and Saul Reichlin gave his usual excellent interpretion. Although I wasn't on the edge of my seat with suspense I found it really enjoyable and I would certainly read another by this author
I loved the narration, I have listened to this reader a lot; but the book left me a bit cold. After what I felt was a really gripping start I felt the plot then suddenly lost pace and became disjointed. Blume's character didn't really come alive in my imagination, despite the excellent narration. About 2/3rds in, I was struggling because the plot was losing its dynamic for me - however it does pick up.
Totally agree with previous reviewer. Blume is a really interesting character, the story kept my attention and I found it hard to stop each listening session. Saul Reichlin is an excellent narrator.
Conor Fitzgerald is a great storyteller, with great descriptions of Rome and a twisty tale. Saul Reichlin reads this novel beautifully. Alec Blume is filling in the gap left by Zen. A five star read.
From the explosive start through a web of politics and legal procedure Alec Bloom finds his way to unwrapping this entertaining story. The mean streets of Rome are seen with an outsiders eye trying to fit in. It's not always fast moving the police characters aren't the sharpest but it somehow works. And note the follow up the fatal touch is a great return same but very different
There are so many things I didn't like about this book, I'm surprised I finished it. It's far too long, the structure is awkward, there's unnecessarily gruesome description of violence, including mistreatment of dogs. Half of the book describes several days from the POV of the investigator, then hops back to describe the same events from the POV of the killer. The resolution, such as it is, comes too early, leaving a bunch of chapters at the end to talk about dead dogs (which I skipped) and ramble on. By this time I was listening on 3X speed just to see if there was any payoff, but there wasn't. A big disappointment.
The action takes place in Rome where the Commisionner Bloom (of American birth) is entangled in a search for the killer of an Activist for animal rights. The main character engages our sympathy but I found the killer rather unconvincing and it would have been better to know more about his motivations or what led him to be a killer. The psychological element is under explored. I did not find the lady working at the American Embassy with whom the Commissioner becomes involved wholly convincing either. The plot is quite good and the pace of action is maintained. The narrator is excellent and thanks to him the weak characterisation is alleviated. A fairly enjoyable listen overall but not the most gripping tale I have ever read.
"A Bit Uneven But Good Read"
Enjoyable book.Great start for a new series with interesting characters and plotting. Lots of intrigue, abundant twists and turns, and true to form Italian politics..Commissario Alec Bloome is a complex and likeable guy. Looking forward to more of him.
Once I got used to a very British voice reading an American/Italian detective I was hooked. The plot kept me listening even when the reader sounded like he was falling asleep. The reader was uneven and sometimes achingly slow but portrayed the various characters well and has a good voice.
"The new Dibdin?"
A triumph of clever and understated writing. Not as sharp and insightful as Michael Dibdin yet, but there is plenty of time for that. Cannot wait for the next offering
"The details drove me crazy"
Where to start? As so many other reviewers have mentioned, this book loves its details. We go on and on and on about what streets the car takes to a scene. Now, what could be the problem there? I mean, they have to get from point A to point B, right? Well, the problem is that it's a bit like watching the Jersey Shore cast get from one point to another - it's a whole episode unto itself.. and about as illuminating and respectful of Italy. There are many times during this book where you're just groaning "I don't CARE about the color of *this* freaking leather" because if there was leather mentioned previously you've already read three sentence passages describing *that* leather. Hyperbole, but doesn't quite feel like it when you're sloggi..er, reading.)
Now that I've gotten my snark out - the plot worked, but it just got entirely too bogged down in the details. I almost felt as if this was a collaborative work, and all the chefs wanted their bit in the pot.
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