In the early hours of a Saturday morning, a body is discovered in Piazza de' Renzi. If it was a fall that killed him, why is a senior Carabiniere officer so interested? Commissioner Alec Blume is immediately curious and the discovery of the dead man's notebooks reveals what could be at stake. What secrets did he know? And why are the authorities blocking Blume's investigations?
©2011 Conor Fitzgerald (P)2011 WF Howes Ltd
This is the second in a new series set in Rome and featuring Commissioner Alec Blume, an American born Italian citizen who remained in Italy after his parents died and who joined the police and has risen through the ranks. Not quite the usual maverick we come to expect in detective stories, but with a will of his own and an integrity and way of doing things that is not always popular. A body is discovered in the Piazza de Renzi early one morning - he is the local drunk and as he has not been robbed, it would appear a tragic but unsurprising accident. Needless to say it proves to be anything but and when it is discovered that the dead man is a painter and a master forger of old masters, then more investigation is needed. Blume discovers notebooks in the dead man's studio in which secrets which have been hidden for years are about to be revealed, including the fact that the forger and his business partner once cheated the Mafia by selling them a forged painting.
A second book by Connor Fitzgerald featuring Commissioner Blume. A bit of a slow burner, but well crafted story, that entertains. Superbly narrated as ever by Saul Reichlin. A real pleasure to listen to.
The story is gripping, it goes fast, you can't leave it alone. The excellence of the writing is further enhanced by the brilliance of Saul Reichlin's performance. As usual, he gets the tone just right and manages male and female voices, and all the different accents perfectly and plausibly. Wonderful!
As an inveterate but fussy reader of thrillers and crime, I enjoyed this very much. The characterisation is terrific as are the plot and the descriptions of Rome. The story is nuanced and subtle and the quality of the writing is excellent - and it's still a really enthralling thriller. Alec Blume is a great character, complex but not stereotypically so, and his relationship with his new inspector is interesting, even moving. It's worth listening to tjis for Saul Reichlin's reading of extracts from the diaries of the victim, let alone for his brilliant seamless reading of the whole novel. This is the first time I've bothered to write a review but the whole production here is worth it.
This detective evokes Rome so well you get a feel for it and for the characters. The plot is surprising. The narrator has a slightly ponderous style which doesn't exactly detract from the story but at times you feel he may be too tired to finish the sentence.
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