This book should come with a health warning. At 528 pages, it’s a bit big to sit and read in one go; but it kept me so gripped I only put it down when I had to.
Set in, and around Rome, the story centres on an investigation into an abducted boy whose mother has been found brutally murdered.
When the boy disappears, the Senior Investigator calls in Deputy Captain Colomba Caselli, a friend and colleague who is on leave having sustained an injury during an investigation.
She is told to contact Dante Torre, who will act as a consultant in the investigation.
And so, the two most compelling characters I have ever read meet to conduct an off-the-books investigation.
Columba is very much an amalgamation of some of the top female protagonists in modern fiction, and is very much in the mould of Marnie Riche’s George McKenzie and Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Sandler, except she is a Police Officer.
Dante reminds me of Benedict Cumberbatch’s portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in the TV series Sherlock.
Columba is direct and tireless, and although she is obviously suffering from PTSD manages to function bravely throughout the story.
Dante is a complete freak, and justifiably so as you will find out when you read the book (no spoilers) he is a claustrophobic, drug and caffeine dependent, highly intelligent, man, who got me totally engaged, from the moment he appeared on the page.
The two are thwarted in their investigation by the complexities of the Italian Police and legal systems; the politics of the region, and the fact that they are up against one of the most original crimes I’ve come across in a work of fiction.
From the start the Police investigation focuses on the fact that the woman was killed by her husband, and that he has killed his son and hidden the body.
Columba and Dante disagree and think the mother was murdered by the child’s abductor, and that the father has been falsely imprisoned.
But why are the Police so convinced that the father is the killer, why are they so loath to investigate further.
Columba and Dante battle to prove their hypothesis, at huge psychological cost to both.
The characters in this book are second to none in any fiction I have read; the story is up there with the best I’ve ever read; the writing is brilliant.
The last line, of the last page, in many books can be described as a cliff hanger. In this book the last line, of the last page opens a door. This story is very much finished, no cliff hanger required, but I defy anybody not to want to walk through that open door when the next book is published.
This book has just gone right into my top 5 of all time reads.
As a post note. There is one section of this book which describes the seconds leading up to an explosion, and the things that happen during the split second of detonation. I have no words to describe how good this piece of writing is.
Published by: Simon and Schuster UK
The next in the series: Kill The Angel to be published 5th April 2018