Monday, July 22, 2013

Villa Triste

Villa Triste
Lucretia Grindle
Grand Central Publishing
Hachette Book Group
New York, New York
January 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4555-0537-1
$ 14.99
645 pages
In present day Florence, Italy, Giovanni Trantemento is brutally murdered and it is the job of police detective, Alessandro Pallioti to discover the motive and the person responsible for this crime. The detective explores the life of this reclusive soul who recently received an honor for being a partisan hero during Italy's occupation by the Nazi forces. What is unknown except to the murderer and the police is that the victim's mouth was filled with salt, the known mark of a traitor. Only by understanding the past, can Pallioti solve this case through using the diary of a young woman who lived in this area of Florence back during World War II.
For 1943, the lives of Isabella and Caterina Cammaccio begins with Caterina looking forward to her approaching wedding to a doctor in the Italian navy while she continues her work as a nurse. Isabella as a young university student seems aimless and quickly joins those who need assistance to escape the country.
Villa Triste fluctuates between Pallioti's investigation presently and the lives of Caterina and Isabella through a diary that he has found in the victim's house. With each page read, Pallioti views the situation and every day lives of this partisan movement. The detective quickly realizes that to solve the crime of today, he needs to know about the past.
VILLA TRISTE is a well-written novel blending the past and the present into an enthralling story. With realistic characters and historical events that were authentic, this novel excels with being both a mystery and historical fiction. Each aspect of the story is very well-organized and developed into a logical and thrilling climax in this page turner. With each development, the reader feels that they are either with the detective or Caterina. Even with a novel of this length, the intensity never lessens and is a book that you never want to leave.
The author, Lucretia Grindle grew up with half her year in the America while the other half in the U.K. Now she makes her home in Maine.
Definitely, whatever Lucretia Grindle writes, read it. You won't be disappointed.

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